Emile Smith Rowe says “unbelievable” new Arsenal signing Fabio Vieira is like Bernardo Silva and can contribute to an exciting season ahead.
The Gunners have made four signings already this summer in a range of positions. Gabriel Jesus is the marquee arrival, the striker leaving Manchester City in a £45million deal.
Having contributed to four Premier League title triumphs under Pep Guardiola, the Brazilian’s know-how can help Arsenal get back into the top four and the Champions League.
According to Arsenal academy graduate Smith Rowe, though, midfielder Vieira also has a City likeness about him.
Smith Rowe indeed compared the former Porto man – who has cost £34million – to his Portugal compatriot Silva.
“He’s very similar [to Silva],” Smith Rowe told the Evening Standard. “He’s a very good passer of the ball, his left foot is very good and he likes to create goals and score them himself.
“I’ve already played against him at international level, so I can’t speak highly enough of him, and the fans should be really excited.
“At the Euro Under-21s, they [Portugal] beat us 2-0 and he was unbelievable in that game.”
Smith Rowe also piled the praise on Jesus as Arsenal look to finally get over the line in a top-four battle.
“He’s been fantastic since he came in, it feels like he’s been here for a couple of years,” the midfielder said of the new goalscorer.
“Everyone knows how good he is and we can’t wait to get started with him. Man City are a big club and they’ve won a lot recently. It would be good if he could bring that [winning] mentality and help us out.”
Smith Rowe confident of Arsenal season
Arsenal started last season in terrible form and sat bottom after three games with zero points and a minus nine goal difference.
However, stability was soon restored and they emerged as the frontrunner in the top-four battle. As Tottenham picked up the pace under Antonio Conte, it became a two-horse race and Spurs eventually pipped their north London rivals.
“It will be a good season, a tough season,” Smith Rowe said of the 2022/23 campaign. “The big clubs are buying players and every season is hard, but we are confident.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been in the Champions League. We need to get back in it, not just for us but for the fans as well.”
Gunners need fast start
Arsenal cannot afford to waste any time in the new season and have to set their stall out early.
Mikel Arteta’s men face Crystal Palace, Leicester and Bournemouth in their first three games and will be looking for nine points from nine.
That would indeed be the complete opposite to how they started last term and hopefully a sign of things to come.
The Gunners could do with another experienced midfield signing to go alongside Vieira. Leicester’s Youri Tielemans remains hot on Arsenal’s radar in that regard.
But Arsenal are certainly doing all they can to stamp their mark in the summer transfer window ahead of the new season.