Nuno Tavares' first words as an Arsenal player after completing transfer from Benfica
The Portuguese left back has become the Gunners' first signing of the summer
Nuno Tavares has spoken his first words after signing for Arsenal admitting that the move is a 'dream' come true for him.
The Gunners confirmed earlier on Saturday that they had completed their first transfer of the summer window by acquiring the Portugal under-21 international from Benfica for a fee believed to be in the region of £7m.
The 21-year-old played 41 times for As Águias, including one substitute appearance against the Gunners in the Europa League round of 32 clash last season.
He arrives in North London with the task of playing understudy to Kieran Tierney next campaign who will be the first choice left back when fit.
And now Tavares has spoken of his delight to have secured the move.
"I'm so excited because it’s a big club and for me as a young guy it is a pleasure to be here," he told Arsenal.com. "It’s good for my career. To begin in Arsenal is a big club and I’m very happy."
By the 21-year-old's own admission the transfer was not a quick one though, and he revealed just how long it had taken for the Gunners to get the deal over the line.
"No it was not a quick process," he said. "It was more things of the contract and things between the clubs with Arsenal and Benfica. It was not quick and it took a long time."
"When I finished the season my agent told me Arsenal are interested in me," he went on to add. "In the first impact I was very happy and after this I dreamed about this with my mum and I’m so excited to be here. Now I’m here I'm so happy."
Interestingly the former Benfica defender revealed the role Mikel Arteta and Edu had had in convincing him that the Emirates was the right place for him to continue his development.
"Mikel and Edu helped me so much in the club," he said. "They spoke with me every time and called me.
"I feel that people want me here. I like that because I need this power and I am so grateful for this."
"You have a good project," he added. "Young people, it’s good for me and we learn together because we can understand everything and we can evolve with the young guys. It’s a good project with the young guys."
Tavares admitted that he had watched quite a lot of Arsenal, with two players in the current squad standing out for him in particular, as well as one legend from the past.
"In the present I like the Smith (Emile Smith Rowe) because he is my generation," he said. "He played against us and we played on the same side you know because he played on the right and I played on the left for the youth team.
"He’s a good player and I see (Bukayo) Saka too. Young players, good players.
"And from the past I like (Thierry) Henry he’s a very good player and it’s good for me to remember that story."
Finally the youngster revealed what Gunners fans can expect from him when they see him at the Emirates this season.
"I’m fast and I have technical qualities," said Arsenal's new number 20. "I like to dribble and improvise. I have more qualities but I will find more in this club."