Arsenal loanee, Nuno Tavares, played his first full game for Nottingham Forest in their 3-2 defeat to Brentford yesterday.
The Portuguese defender joined the Gunners from S.L. Benfica in the summer of 2021. After an inconsistent start to life in North London, Tavares was loaned to Ligue 1 outfit, Olympique de Marseille, where he played regular football. The full-back didn’t have the opportunity to play in red and white upon his return, as he quickly joined Nottingham Forest for his second loan of his career.
Tavares featured in all three of Forest’s first Premier League fixtures of the new campaign, but the defender sustained an injury against reigning champions, Manchester City, in late September. Upon his return, Tavares fell out of favour in Steve Cooper’s squad, and didn’t play a single minute for the Welsh manager until his controversial departure in mid-December.
During Cooper’s tenure, Tavares did show signs of being unhappy in Nottingham, and he dramatically deleted his Instagram account after he was dropped from the matchday squad entirely in November.
Following Nuno Espírito Santo’s arrival, Tavares was benched for the first three league games, but he featured in Nottingham Forest’s 2-2 draw to Blackpool in the FA Cup, and played 86 minutes of the subsequent replay, which saw the Tricky Trees progress after extra-time.
Last night, as Forest faced an out of form Brentford, Tavares played his first full game in England since May 2022, when Arsenal thrashed Everton 5-1 on the final day.
Looking ahead, Nottingham Forest prepare to face Bristol City in a Round 4 FA Cup tie, which may see Tavares start another full game as the defender will be ineligible for their next Premier League clash as Forest welcome his parent club, Arsenal. If Tavares successfully turns his stint around in the East Midlands, Nottingham Forest could choose to utilise his £12million buy option, meaning the defender may never return to Arsenal again.