VIEIRA! WOOAAAH-OOOH! VIEIRA! WOOAAAH-OOOH!
HE COMES FROM PORTUGAL! HE PLAYS FOR ARSENAL!
You know it will catch on. Yep, it’s now confirmed that the second summer signing of Arsenal’s transfer window is Fabio Vieira. The Portuguese 22 year old has arrived from Porto, for a fee in the region of £35m.
And the attacking midfielder who shares his surname with one of the finest to do it in our colours comes with a hefty reputation. The last two years for Vieira have been a pretty rapid rise to the top of the Portuguese pecking order when it comes to hot talent.
Vieira made his leap from Porto’s B team at the start of the 2020-21 season and also made his Champions League debut that campaign. His vision, allied with his knack of getting into the right spaces, was noticed by Sergio Conceicao, Porto’s manager.
And last season saw the trust placed in him paid back with spectacular results.
23 goal contributions in 39 games in all competitions shows a player who has found his feet at the top level. Not only this, but Vieira was used in a variety of positions in those games. This doesn’t indicate a utility player though. His versatility was used mainly in an attacking midfield capacity a la Martin Odegaard, but he was used as a secondary striker on more than a few occasions for Porto.
That elasticity when it comes to position will be a godsend for Arteta, who allows for flexibility in his attacking play. With Saka, ESR, Odegaard, Martinelli and a new striker to come in, Vieira will be able to slot in seamlessly across the final third – and be another player who can break down deep-lying banks of defence.
In possession is where we will see the best of the young Portuguese player. His assists come when he can spot runners, so Saka and Martinelli can expect plenty of ammunition next season.
This purchase is another step in the right direction – and the price isn’t gargantuan either. Reportedly, his wages are pretty miniscule right now in comparison to his teammates – reports state he is on around £26k per week – and his link-up play will stop those games we had last season when creativity dried up if Odegaard was snuffed out.
Vieira is part of a stellar group of Portuguese U21 players who have been blitzing their way across Europe in the last two years. Some liken Vieira to his older compatriot Bernardo Silva, especially with the ball at his feet, driving forward. The left-footed player would likely operate in a midfield three with Odegaard and Partey, or as a secondary striker operating behind Eddie or (hopefully) Gabriel Jesus.
His acquisition doesn’t stop us needing a partner for Thomas, nor adequate cover in the full-back region, but it allows rotation in a season that sees us return to Europe again for more games. In a campaign that also brings with it an ill-fitting World Cup campaign, a player of Vieira’s ilk to our attacking pool is great news.
And if other reports are true and our neighbours down the road approached him last season and he turned them down?
Then it won’t just be his name that will put him in good stead with us Gooners.
Welcome to The Arsenal Fabio Vieira!