In a recent print edition, Record has claimed that Newcastle United are among several clubs keeping tabs on Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares. It is believed that the Magpies will compete with Burnley and Napoli in the race to land the Portuguese defensive ace, who is protected by a €88m exit clause (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).
Tavares’ Recent Emergence At The Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Tavares has been a sporadic feature in Benfica’s first-team but has still managed to catch the eye by putting in some promising displays down the left flank. The 21-year-old has come through the youth ranks of the Portuguese club and is slowly becoming an influential member of their squad.
The Lisboa-born talent has participated in 21 matches for his current club this term, picking up three assists in the process in various competitions. Tavares has impressed in patches by averaging 0.9 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 0.6 clearances, 0.8 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game in the Liga NOS and the UEFA Europa League this season. He has even taken care of the ball when distributing possession from the left-wing after making 77.5% of his attempted passes in both those competitions (stats via whoscored).
Tavares’s current deal with the Portuguese giants is set to run until the summer of 2024, so unless Newcastle decide to match his €88m release clause (which is highly unlikely), they could find it difficult to lure him to St. James’ Park this summer.
Will Tavares Be A Good Fit For The Magpies?
Tavares has electric pace under his belt and can complete some encouraging dribbles down the left flank. He can also whip in some dangerous crosses into the opposition penalty box which could make him a valuable squad player for any top-flight club, including the Magpies.
The Portuguese youngster has good defensive awareness that allows him to be a solid defensive presence inside his half. Plus, he hardly gets beaten in a 1v1 foot race, so he could excel playing on the left side of Steve Bruce’s defence if Newcastle can get him on board in this off-season.
Tavares has what it takes to compete with Jamal Lewis for a regular starting place in Bruce’s first-team. Hence, the Benfica starlet will be a great fit for the Tyneside outfit as long as the Newcastle boss is willing to give him enough opportunities to prove his worth in the coming seasons.
At 21, Tavares is in for a very bright future in European football and could potentially be a star in the making at St. James’ Park if Bruce can convince him to make a move to the Premier League during this summer transfer window.