Who is Fabio Vieira as he closes in on £30m Arsenal move from Porto?

An assist machine with an eye for goal, Fabio Vieira could be a perfect signing for Arsenal… and he has already left his mark on Liverpool in the Champions League – but who is the £30m star hoping to fire the Gunners into the top four?

  • Arsenal are homing in on the signing of Fabio Vieira from Porto for £30million
  • The Gunners will be hoping the Portugal Under 21 star can boost their attack
  • At 22 years old he is still expected to improve rapidly in the next few years
  • Sportsmail looks at how big a role he could play in Mikel Arteta’s plans 

Arsenal are on the verge of landing their first major summer signing with the capture of rising Porto star Fabio Vieira.

The attacking midfielder could join the Gunners as soon as Friday in a £30million deal having cut short his holiday to the Greek Island of Mykonos to fly to London and complete a move.

But who is the Portuguese star hoping to push Arsenal towards a top four spot next season? Sportsmail looks at the background of Vieira and the benefits he could bring to Mikel Arteta’s side.

Arsenal are closing in on the £30million signing of attacking midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto

Hopefully for Arsenal, their key arrival this summer to help fire them into the Champions League next term.

The attacking midfielder has impressed for Porto as well as for the Portugal Under 21 team where he has been lethal in netting 13 goals from 21 caps.

Standing at 5ft 7in he has been at the Portuguese giants since he was eight years old and over the last three seasons has steadily established himself into the first-team picture, helping them win the title last term.

His most recent campaign for the club was the best yet, featuring in the Champions League and playing 39 times across all competitions, scoring seven goals and providing an impressive 16 assists.

Last summer he was named player of the tournament at the Under 21 European Championship. 

Vieira was influential in helping Porto win the league title last season – graphic from SofaScore

How well suited is he to the Premier League?

You never know for sure with any continental signing but while there are concerns there are plenty of reasons why Gunners supporters should be excited by his arrival.

The nimble midfielder has an eye for a pass but is also cool under pressure, possessing the ball control to dribble his way out of a press before picking out a team-mate in space. It could come in handy especially against pressing monsters among their big-six rivals such as Liverpool.

In fact the Reds have already been stung by Vieira in last season’s Champions League, as he created an assist albeit in a 5-1 group stage defeat. 

The trade-off for this though may come in his physicality and he may have to improve his strength to tackle the Premier League’s most demanding defenders.

He also provided an assist against Liverpool in the Champions League group stage

Where would he fit in Mikel Arteta’s system?

With Arsenal set to deploy a 4-3-3, Vieira can play as high as a No 10 but would be much more suited to playing the attacking central role in a midfield three. Although he has been known to fill in on both sides of the midfield too.

Looking at the existing Gunners’ squad he could play in conjunction with Martin Odegaard with the pair anchored by Thomas Partey.

However, Vieira’s versatility plays its way into a Plan B as well for Arteta and in a 4-2-3-1 he can fill in any of the attacking roles behind the striker.

Vieira is likely to slot in with ease to any system Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wishes to play

What is his playing style?

Creativity is his trade and he would be tasked with trying to provide chances for Arsenal’s strikers.

But he appears to have a few tricks up his sleeve in this regard. The 22-year-old can lead a quick counter attack from his own half and is likely to do this by using his excellent vision to play a defence splitting pass.

Meanwhile his strong reading of the game will likely make him just as effective in trying to break down a defensive ‘low block’.

There are not too many weaknesses with him on the ball and although he isn’t bursting with pace, neither is he a slouch. This makes him effective at being able to take on a defender and create space for a cross or even a shot.

The bonus that he is also a tidy finisher could be crucial for Arsenal next term, who while scoring a respectable 61 Premier League goals were guilty of missing many chances.

He may be wearing an Arsenal shirt and called Vieira, but don’t expect him to be a midfield enforcer like his namesake and legendary Gunner, Patrick. That’s not his job.

If anything he will be given license higher up the pitch to play the risky passes to open a defence even if losing the ball is a strong possibility, only dropping deep to offer an avenue to start a counter attack.

He also been a star for the Portugal Under 21 team where he has 21 caps and scored 13 goals

How badly do Arsenal need him?

Arsenal’s main priority is landing a main striker following the rocky departure back in January of former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the now out of contract Alexandre Lacazette this month.

Arteta must land a striker to address this gap and it would also likely gain value if they have a creative star such as Vieira on hand to provide chances, as they track Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus.

That means that while priorities are elsewhere, Vieira is arguably just as crucial for the Gunners as he ticks many of the boxes to fit in tactically to Arteta’s systems and also addresses the weaknesses in the Gunners side in a number of roles.

What’s been said about him?

Portugal Under 21 boss Rui Jorge is excited over the potential of Vieira but admits he has areas of his game he will need to iron out before becoming a star.

‘He is a very technically advanced player, he is good at defining, but he needs to improve some aspects of his game in order to become a full-fledged player,’ he said.

‘He knows this and will work on these aspects. Fabio has a great future if he stays fit. I think he wants to be the player he can be. I believe that we can make a great player.’

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article