'Too much quality': £7m Arsenal player says Chelsea star is the toughest opponent he's faced this season

Arsenal’s Nuno Tavares named Chelsea gem Mason Mount as the toughest opponent he faced throughout the season.

Speaking on the Counter Attack YouTube channel, Tavares was asked to name the trickiest adversary he came up against during his debut term as a Gunner.

Tavares picks Mount as his toughest opponent

The defender joined Arsenal from Benfica last summer for £6.8m (Guardian) as part of Mikel Arteta’s squad reshuffle.

His first taste of Premier League football did not exactly go to plan.

On the opening weekend, Arsenal lost 2-0 away to newly-promoted Brentford, with questions immediately being asked of Arteta’s men.


Photo by Juan Gasperini/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Those queries were increased further in the follow-up fixture, where Chelsea dominated their London rival at the Emirates.

Romelu Lukaku marked his return to the Blues with a goal and a destructive performance, before Reece James doubled the away side’s lead.

Tavares entered the fray just after the hour mark with the game already dead and buried.

But he did get his first glimpse of the player he would eventually dub as his hardest challenge on the pitch.

“Mason Mount of Chelsea,” said the left-back.

“I think the positions, he knows the place he should be to make people feel uncomfortable and with the ball he has too much quality.

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

“He has goals, you know, so I think Mason Mount.”

Magic Mason

Mount certainly caused numerous problems to countless defences during another impressive individual campaign.

He finished as Chelsea’s chief creator with 16 assists and their top scorer in the league with 11.

The England international became just the fifth Blue to register +10 goals and +10 assists in a single top-flight season when he tore Leeds United apart at Elland Road.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are the only others to hit double figures in both categories; not bad company at all.

Along with the Club World Cup and Super Cup, Mount also added a second successive club Player of the Year award.

Not bad for a young man who only turned 23 in January.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.