Nigel Winterburn tells Mikel Arteta he can’t trust the struggling Arsenal star

Tavares was substituted off at half-time against Palace

Tavares was pulled off at half-time against Palace (Image: Getty Images)

Nigel Winterburn has told Mikel Arteta that Nuno Tavares is “not a viable option” for Arsenal at the moment given his recent level of performance.

The summer newcomer was removed at halftime in the defeat Crystal Palace after a flawed performance.

A similar situation happened for the full-back against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup when he was substituted after just 35 minutes.

Arteta has another big selection decision to make this weekend

Arteta has another big selection decision to make this weekend (Picture: Getty Images)

For the weekend’s defeat by Brighton, Arteta made the decision to take Granit Xhaka out of midfield and use him at left-back instead of using Tavares again.

Legendary former Arsenal left-back Winterburn believes the 22-year-old needs to improve on defence, and “very quickly”.

“I just don’t think he fully understands the full role of a full-back and I think he has a lot more to learn defensively in terms of the situations he puts himself in,” Winterburn said Mirror of Tavares.

“He needs to learn that side of the game very quickly and get back to the form he showed at the start of the season. The problem is, when you’ve had a few games like him, your confidence drops so quickly.

“You can also lose the supporters’ trust, so it’s difficult to come back in that case.”

“It’s hard to tell what happened from the outside, but it seems his level of performance has dropped,” Winterburn added.

“I’m not sure if that’s because of the amount he’s played or if it’s a confidence issue.

“For me, given his performances, I don’t see him as a viable option for Arsenal at the moment. He played well in certain games earlier in the season [Kieran] Tierney was injured.’

With the Gunners having lost their last two games and now three points behind north London rivals Tottenham, the pressure will be on when they travel to St Mary’s on Saturday to take on Southampton.

MORE : Arsenal struggle with Newcastle to sign Lucas Paqueta from Lyon

MORE: Granit Xhaka gives big hint about Arsenal’s future amid Roma transfer links

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Arsenal FC Nigel Winterburn tells Mikel Arteta he can't trust the struggling Arsenal star

Nate Jones

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