Fabio Vieira is quickly becoming a Mikel Arteta signing Arsenal can count on following his performance against Bodo/Glimt, two pundits believe.
The Gunners signed the midfielder from Porto in the summer in a £34million deal. Arsenal did try to add Douglas Luiz and Danilo later on in the transfer window but eventually stuck with Vieira.
And they have nevertheless enjoyed a strong start to the campaign. Granit Xhaka is continuing his resurgence, with Thomas Partey and captain Martin Odegaard also proving crucial.
However, Portugal Under-21 international Vieira is stamping his mark on the midfield already. He earned pundits’ praise for his performance in Arsenal’s recent 3-0 win over Brentford.
And on Thursday, he scored and assisted in the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League. Playing the full 90 minutes, he was effective in both halves to earn his side three points.
Speaking to BT Sport about Vieira, Martin Keown insisted the 22-year-old is only going to get better.
“You can see Vieira now just getting more and more confident, that corner [before his assist] came from his own bit of class,” Keown said.
“Odegaard’s the man and when you come in, you’ve got to make your mark and he’s beginning to do that now.”
And former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole concurred that the midfielder is certainly challenging Odegaard, with Arteta leaving them both on the pitch.
Fabio Vieira impressing for Arsenal
Graceful,” Cole said of the player. “He’s a player that you associate with Arsenal, great feet, great movement, body shape.
“He puts in a great ball, Bodo/Glimt clear but the touch, off the body, what he’s done with the cross is put enough pace on it so when you attack it you only have to guide it.
“It’s beautiful and it’s moments of brilliance from great qualities, Arsenal were far from the outstanding levels we’ve seen them.”
Vieira made his debut in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at the start of September.
He then played 68 minutes against FC Zurich in the Gunners’ first Europa League group stage game.
From there, he has built up his confidence, playing two 90-minute stints in a row and scoring three goals in three appearances.
Gunners star rising quickly
Vieira’s latest display will no doubt have Arsenal fans purring over how good the midfielder can be in the future.
Arteta is clearly managing his minutes, only sending him on as a late second-half substitute against Tottenham.
But, the manager clearly senses Vieira can thrive in the Europa League. And Vieira clearly feels at home in the competition.
What’s more, Vieira has already proven that he can perform well against tougher opposition than Arsenal’s Europa League opponents.
Brentford have impressed under Thomas Frank in recent seasons and Vieira played well against them too.
Arsenal certainly have a promising talent on their hands and Vieira is yet another exciting young player for the Gunners, who are littered with such players at the moment.