SA-born defender snapped up in England

SA Players Abroad

South African-born defender Nikola Tavares has officially joined Vanarama National League side Wealdstone FC after parting ways with Crystal Palace.

Tavares (22) spent a portion of the 2020/21 season loan with Wealdstone but saw his spell cut short by an injury suffered on debut, and he has now returned to the club on a permanent deal after leaving Premier League outfit Palace.

"Nik's a lad who came in and played one game for us last season," manager Stuart Maynard told the club's website. "Unfortunately he got injured, but it was largely due to him having to be thrown in the deep end due to our situation at the time.

"He's athletic, a good one versus one defender and has a mentality that is second to none. Again we had to fight off clubs from higher, so it's brilliant to get him signed and we're looking forward to working with him."

Watch what Tavares had to say following his return to Wealdstone

Cape Town-born Tavares is a former Croatia youth international and was previously also on the books of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Middlesbrough, Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford, before joining the Eagles in 2017.

He failed to make a senior appearance during his time at Selhurst Park but did feature on the bench on four separate occasions in the Premier League, including once against Liverpool, once against Burnley and in two matches against AFC Bournemouth.

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