Mikel Arteta says Arsenal signed Fabio Vieira because they wanted a player who could play across a number of attacking positions.
On a disappointing Sunday at Old Trafford, one of few positives was the competitive senior debut of summer signing Fabio Vieira.
After joining from FC Porto, Vieira had to spend the early months of his time with Arsenal on the sidelines recovering from an injury he sustained prior to signing. Before last week, he’d only featured for the Arsenal u21s.
But after an encouraging cameo in difficult circumstances at the weekend, Vieira might now be in line for a start in the Europa League against FC Zurich.
Mikel Arteta has explained why Arsenal chose to sign Vieira and insisted the 22-year-old will be more of a regular in the coming weeks.
“We were looking for players that could play in three positions in the frontline and in the attacking midfielder positions,” Arteta said.
“We were looking for very specific qualities in the market and when I saw him, I really liked what I saw.
“Straight away, I was convinced that he was a player who can help us go to the next level and that he had the right personality and character to play for our club.
“It’s a shame that we detected an injury when we were doing the medical. He had no pre-season and everything has been delayed, but hopefully, you’re going to see a lot more of him in the next few weeks, and I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it.”
Vieira was prolific with his goal contributions for Porto last season, scoring seven and assisting 16 in 1,988 minutes, a goal or assist every 86.4 minutes.
You wouldn’t expect him to hit those levels in the Premier League, at least not in his first season, but if he can add some attacking threat to the midfield then he’ll quickly win over the supporters.
It remains to be seen where he’ll end up playing, and it’s possible that Nicolas Pepe’s loan will see Vieira start out in the right-wing position as an alternative to Bukayo Saka. Thursday night’s match could give us our first hint.