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Arteta urges Tavares to 'react' after being subbed at half-time against Palace as Arsenal boss insists decision 'wasn't personal'

19:12 GMT 08/04/2022
Nuno Tavares Arsenal 2021-22
The full-back was taken off early following a disappointing performance in the Gunners' 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park on Monday

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has challenged Nuno Tavares to bounce back from a difficult period after he was substituted at half-time against Crystal Palace.

The left-back started the clash at Selhurst Park on Monday but did not reemerge for the second half as Gabriel Martinelli was brought on to replace him.

The Gunners were 2-0 down when they went in at the break and ended up losing the clash 3-0, putting a dent in their challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

What has been said?

Tavares was singled out after his performance against the Eagles and Arteta has called on him to respond in a positive manner and set about silencing his critics.

"Throughout your career, you have to go through difficult periods," the coach told reporters.

"That is the development curve of a player, it is up and down but he is ready and he is willing.

"He will be disappointed, but it is part of my job. We have to make decisions to try to win football matches - but it is nothing personal.

"Obviously, I spoke with Nuno because I care a lot about how the players feel, and we are here to make their careers better.

"The decision hurt him. He has to react on that situation because it is a great opportunity to learn a lot in that period in your career."

How has Tavares performed for Arsenal?

Tavares joined the north London side from Benfica last summer, and has appeared just 15 times in the Premier League this season.

The 22-year-old has been reduced to a bit-part role under Arteta so far in 2022, having been limited to a one-minute cameo against Wolves before he was given a chance in the starting XI on Monday.

However, the Portugal Under 21 player may be called on to start for the Gunners more often in the run up to the end of the campaign, with Kieran Tierney out for the rest of the season following a knee operation.

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