Premier League • England

Creative Arsenal star attracts surprise suitor in France after being marginalised by Arteta

Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Vieira celebrating for Arsenal

Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Vieira celebrating for Arsenal

Arsenal may have to respond to interest from Marseille for attacking midfielder Fabio Vieira during the January transfer window, reports in France have suggested.

Vieira only joined Arsenal in the summer of 2022, but whether he chose the right club after being sold by Porto could be questioned. As an attacking midfielder, he has struggled to dislodge club captain Martin Odegaard from regular starting duties.

This season, Vieira has only completed 90 minutes once – and that was in a Carabao Cup match. While still getting a decent amount of substitute appearances, he has not started a Premier League game since September.

As the January transfer window approaches, speculation has started to develop about Vieira’s future at Arsenal.

According to La Tribune Olympienne, Vieira has been discussed as a potential target for Marseille. Theoretically, they could take him to Ligue 1 on loan.

It would be the latest example of a player moving from Arsenal to Marseille after the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, William Saliba and Nuno Tavares all had loan spells there in recent years.

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However, no final decision has yet been made about Vieira’s future, as Fabrizio Romano has confirmed to Caught Offside.

“Marseille have been linked with an interest in signing Fabio Vieira on loan, but it’s too early to say on this one,” Romano said.

“Arsenal have not decided anything yet on players to leave in January and also OM have still no director; it will be Medhi Benatia, who is set to be announced this week, but it’s still early to negotiate for players.”

As a player, Benatia developed in the Marseille academy, but never played for the first team before embarking on a career where he represented the likes of Roma, Bayern Munich and Juventus.

Soon, he will be tasked with overseeing Marseille’s transfer business – and perhaps a call to Arsenal about Vieira could be due.

Is Vieira stagnating at Arsenal?

Still only 23 years old, Vieira remains under contract at the Emirates Stadium until 2027.

He has played 46 times for Arsenal since leaving Porto, scoring three goals and adding nine assists in the process.

Despite his decent output from a creativity perspective, he has still only started five Premier League matches over the past couple of seasons – and he has never stayed on the pitch until the final whistle.

If he was to move to Marseille, temporarily or otherwise, it would be just the third club of his career – and the third different league.

Previously, Vieira scored 10 goals and provided 18 assists for Porto from 76 appearances after coming through their academy.

And at international level, he has amassed 14 goals from 25 caps for Portugal’s under-21s, showing his potential if he can develop with more consistent gametime.

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