Arsenal have completed the signing of Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares from Benfica.

The 21-year-old has joined for a fee of around £8million and has signed a long-term contract at the Emirates.

He becomes Mikel Arteta’s first signing of the summer transfer window.

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Speaking about the arrival of Tavares, Arteta told the club’s website: “We welcome Nuno to the club. He is a young player with great promise who has developed very well with Benfica in recent seasons and has also shown his quality by being part of Portugal Under-21s.

“Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with this energy on the left side of the pitch.

“We look forward to Nuno’s arrival soon, his integration into the Arsenal family and playing in front of our fantastic supporters.”

Club policy means Arsenal have not confirmed the exact length of his deal, although the left-back will remain in north London for a substantial amount of time.

Tavares is a promising player who featured 25 times for Benfica in all competitions last season.

He was on the bench against Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie.

He was brought on as a substitute in the second leg as the Gunners went through with a 4-3 aggregate victory.

Technical director Edu, who has been heavily involved in the deal, said: “Nuno is a talented young player who was wanted by a number of clubs across Europe.

“He will provide strong back-up in the left-back position. We look forward to him growing and developing with us and becoming an important member of the first-team squad.”

Tavares will act as backup for first-choice defender Kieran Tierney. The Scotsman was one of Arteta’s best players last season but missed 11 Premier League games due to injury.

Sead Kolasinac is another left-back available to Arsenal. He spent the 2020/21 season back at Schalke on loan, although he has now returned to England for pre-season training.

The Bosnian international could be sold this summer to help fund Arsenal’s transfer pursuits.

They’re closing in on a deal for deep-lying midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.

The Belgian has emerged as one of Anderlecht’s top players under manager Vincent Kompany.

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