Where will Fabio Vieira fit into the Arsenal team, and Predictions for the rest of the window

Fabio Vieira’s signing is a shrewd one, but it is also telling by Sean M

The news broke today that Fabio Vieira is on the verge of completing a £30m move from Porto.

Fabio is a 22-year-old attacking midfielder who racked up 14 assists and 6 goals in 27 appearances (15 starts) last season.

Mikel Arteta has long said that his ideal squad would contain 22 outfield players, with at least two players of equal quality in each position in order to push every player to reach their potential. With this in mind, Fabio’s signing was inevitable.

Mikel’s preferred formation seems to be a 4-3-3, with the midfield consisting of one attacking, left-footed, creator, a more rounded box-to-box no.8 and a holding, single-pivot defensive shield. All three positions are filled currently by Odegaard, Xhaka and Partey respectively. Although ESR is an attacking midfielder, and has been tried as the no.8 on occasions, he is not thought to be in direct competition with MO.

Fabio is a slight, skilful, creative midfielder with excellent technique and an eye for the killer ball, as his impressive record boasts. With no current competition in the first team, Fabio would appear to slot in perfectly as MO’s understudy.

The news should also not deter fans from the likelihood of Tielemans or another no.8 entering the fray at some point during the window. Assuming we will retain Xhaka, MA presumably would be happy with one acquisition in this area.

Disappointingly, Partey spent half of his first and second season on the treatment table. With the impressive resurgence of Mohammed Elneny at the backend of the last campaign, one would assume cover for Partey would not be a priority this season. Further, it has been rumoured that Lokonga is seen as Partey’s natural replacement. Whether he possesses the abilities to live up to this expectation remains to be seen.

Predictions for the rest of the window

If we assume that MA’s intentions are to gather this 25-man squad, we can make some inferences about what to expect between now and the end of August.

We all know that efforts are being made to bring in a no.9 after the departure of Lacazette. It seems that Gabriel Jesus is (rightfully) dragging his heels a little as he takes his time to consider his options ahead of what seems to be an inevitable exit from Man City this summer. Further rumours that Nketiah has extended his contract suggests that he and either Jesus or another forward will be competing for that spot.

While Martinelli and ESR are battling it out for LW, Saka has no adequate competition at RW. I have my doubts that we would be willing to fork out £55m for Raphinha, but I would also guess that the coaching staff are waiting to see if the incoming Marquinhos can pull a Martinelli and jump straight into contention in the RW role.

Elsewhere, Saliba, White, Gabriel and Holding will fight for the 2 CB slots, Cedric and Tomiyasu for the RB slot, which leaves the ever-injured Tierney needing cover. MA’s selection decisions last season suggest that Nuno Tavares is not yet at the required level, and may be sent out on loan, which would suggest that we can expect a new face in at LB with Aaron Hickey mooted as a possible addition.

With all this being said, we can expect to see five new faces this summer, in order of priority: a no.9, a RW, a no.8, a no.10 and a LB. So don’t worry Gooners: I predict that Fabio Vieira’s signing is not instead of Tielemans, but in addition.


Sean M

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  1. It all begins to make sense really why we didn’t go for Bisouma seeing that Torreira was coming back and we wouldn’t want 3 African players in One strategic position , if they all go out to AFCON that would only leave us with Xhaka and Lokonga to play out 4 – 5 games.
    With that said I’ve never seen much of Vieira to have a opinion about him as he’s like someone that came out of the blue, but going by what I’m hearing I’d say let’s see how it goes.
    My main concern this window is in the striking dept. Would like to see who, how many, and what type of striker(s) arteta would sign. In a market that not much strikers are really available.

    1. Afcon 2021 was only played in January because it was postponed otherwise other editions will be in the summer like other international tournaments.

      1. Yes and No. AFCON is usually played in February- early match , the ’21 version was played in January due to covid interruption. There was a proposal for it to be played in June / July during non world cup years, that idea has been scrapped and discarded. AFCON is set to return to its original time of Feb / March.

        1. You need to do your research even the african leagues were changed so as to end in the summer like european leagues.

    2. >.> Torreira isnt African.

      Also, transfer just opened, and you already “concerned”? Have faith. They are hard working in the background as proven with this “sudden” transfer.

  2. It’s 35million plus addons potentially reaching 40 million .
    Do you honestly think the club can afford to spend that on a understudy Sean .

    1. Charles Watts has reported that it’s closer to £30m now, rising to £35m in add-ons, but we rarely hear about the specifics.

      I don’t think MA sees anyone as an understudy tbh. He has in mind the profile he wants for a position, receives some names from the scouting department and determines value according to their ability. He may play alongside MO, MA may switch up tactics from time to time in which he’ll play as a second striker, but my guess is that he had the principal objective of having 2 creative no.10s, which Vieira has filled.

      I could well be wrong though 🙂

      1. If he plays with Odegaard it will be as 2 number 8s which will be as a 4-3-3 which he’s been trying to copy peps Man City’s for the last few years or talking about copying.
        My worry is the pace of said players as last season we got overran time and again with Odegaard and Xhaka in the middle ,I don’t see by adding the same kind of player how it will be any different this season ,obviously I haven’t watched him play as probably 99%of our fan base but like I said earlier a quick search tells me he’s a carbon copy of Odegaard which in turn worries me .

  3. I think we can forget about Tielemans, unless Xhaka is leaving

    Hickey is a possibility, but I heard his performance for Scotland isn’t good lately

    1. Keep Xhaka even if Youri comes in…. We are in Europe next season so we need bigger squad. Remember injuries do happen to Arsenal. Also it’s a 5sub next season….

      1. If Xhaka stays, we’ll have at least three players in each midfield position:

        CDM : Partey, Elneny, Lokonga, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Azeez

        RM : Odegaard, Vieira, Smith-Rowe, Patino, Hutchinson

        LM : Xhaka, Vieira, Smith-Rowe, Maitland-Niles, Torreira

        1. Maitland-Niles is out the door, it’s highly unlikely he’ll still be here come the end of the window. Torreira could also be gone.

          We have extra games being back in Europe next season so we need depth.

        2. Funny enough you just packed players that you know fully well won’t have much game time or will be sold and include in your team.

          I see only this lineup

          CDM: Partey, Elneny, Lokonga
          CM: Xhaka, Tielemans
          AM: Odegaard, Vieira

          Those other players will either be sold or loaned out

  4. Good signing. Seen him play. He reminds me of Santi in a way. He likes those killer passes so much and get some goals too. Attacking minded so can help with assist and help with some goals too..At home against a smaller team, we can play him and Ode together while having Partey behind them. He can be introduced in the team gradually as well. When Ode gets some rest, he can play in his position. Remember we are in Europe next season. He is a left footed player but his right isn’t bad too.

    Get Youri and Jesus and this window is making sense. Big squad is needed next season.

    A signing out of the blues hit differently 🙂. And yes it feels like a Wenger signing. Out of the moon kinda hit. Lol

  5. I agree with the analysis, and these suggested names would suffice.
    No9 – Jesus/Scamacca/Nkunku
    Winger – Raphinha
    No8 – Tielemans
    No10 – Vieira
    LB – Zinchenko/Hickey

  6. I will want a group of players that would prevent what Newcastle did to us in May. We were outplayed ,outwitted and muscled. That was my most painful lost last season and I don’t ever want such defeat again. If Vieria can help in preventing that he’s more than welcome.

    1. It was such a demoralising defeat against Newcastle. Every time I think about it i get depressed.

  7. This Raphina and Telemas we are hoping for can be a great solution to this Arsenal problem even in the absence of not signing Gabriel Jesus or oshime .
    What we can do there is just to get these two Raphina and Telemas , then restructure the team as a whole by using that Raphina as a striker with Nikitah as two man striking in a match, then give matinelli that LW to be subed by (Smith Rowe), then Dm to Xahka to be subed by (Eleny), AM to odegard to be subed by (Fabio) , then RW to saka to be subed by maquinhos.
    Buh if Nikitah is to go,it can crest another chance for maquinhos to strike with Raphina which will be a good match then leaves Telemas to share wing with odegard, while Fabio shares with saka.
    With our defenders already know themselves and wish to give the fans the best , obviously you will see Arsenal team Been on fire before the end of the season

  8. I think am loving the recruitment process in arsenal.. we need more bigger experience and talented squad.. Gabriel Jesus, Tielemans, Raphinha and Zichenko… Will be my takes plus Fabio Viera… We will have a great season..

  9. Certainly came out of nowhere and was done fairly quickly, which is very refreshing in stark contrast to the drawn out Jesus and Tielemens situations. Will be interesting to see where he fits in, with Tielemens also still expected to join as well. Who will be the Midfield three starters

    OT @Arsenal have reportedly made an enquiry to Ajax regarding their Centre-Back Lisandro Martinez.

    The left footed Argentine, who can also play LB & CDM has popped up as a target, who’s valued around £30m-£40m.


    #AFC #Transfers

    Now this is an interesting link, another which would come out the blue. Never heard of the him admittely, but this seems like a real possibility given the fact this player covers multiple positions which Arteta likes and would be an alternative to Zinchenko who does the same minus CB position and the TheAthleticUK (Ornestein) usually has his finger on the pulse.

  10. After this, my guess is:
    A no. 9 – Jesus?
    A LB – HIckey?
    I also expect promotion of a couple of young guns, maybe Flores, Balogun and Patino.
    Don’t see the need for a no. 10 or a new RB.
    All providing there aren’t any major outgoings, and that Nketiah is kept.

  11. It looks like zinchenko is leaving and I won’t be surprised if he ends up at arsenal, mancity had just submitted a bid for Marc cucurrela maning zinchenko is leaving. I loved what I saw from cucurrela,I even suggested we try for him. But it seems xhaka may leave to because we are still in negotiation with Leicester for tieleman. What we just need is Jesus and a target man. A striker who is very tall that can hold up as plan b when teams back the bus. I don’t mind if he’s a second tier striker as long as he’s cheap and decent. Jesus will have a serious point to prove to city which makes this very exciting.
    Transfer is just opening let’s be patient and the fact Elneny was staying made signing bissouma unnecessary.

  12. If I remember correctly it was reported by TheAthleticUk around Dec/Jan that Arteta wanted LCB(Zinchenko/Lisandro Martinez), CM(Tielemens) AM(Viera) Winger(Marquinios, Raphinha?) ST(Jesus)

  13. The players I feel can fill in well in the no9 is Victor osimhen nd scamacca. They av speed, strength nd can score goal wit feet and head

  14. To sign is still good since Tavares is not that up to expectation, and looking at that of Jesus own , it seems like man city is just delaying it for him to later be a source of huge pay for them , which when the struggle comes up due to some other high teams coming for him , the tendency of him accepting for Arsenal will be low , so we better go for the one we know we can get in a peace of mind and if we give him that support that he can do better , he will definitely bring out the best which is that Raphina am talking about. ,and moreover if we should have a flash back we can see that Drogba was a good defender before a trust of also been a good striker was seen in him and was given the chance , so why wunt Raphina do better even in the midst of vibrant young players filled in Arsenal .
    So to me , I will say let’s try an get him down to Emirate , he will obviously do well in the midst of his fellow Brazilians surrounding him

  15. These kinds of underrated signings are what excite me instead of the overrated / overpriced / overhyped signing that turn out to be underwhelming jokes the majority of the time..

    I hope this kid does not disappoint..

  16. Hope he does well

    Our signings, unfortunately, usually start off brilliantly and then slowly get worse under coaching/tactics.

    Tavares is just 1 example…remember how good he was the 1st few games.

  17. I see Arteta 433 slightly different, I think he likes a deep lying playmaker alongside a more defensive protector. I cant see Arteta spending £40m on a back up player and I can see Xhaka, Sambi(loan) or even Elneny having to move on if we get Tielemans. I wonder if Leicester still fancy Maitland-Niles?that could be an interesting p/ex and what about Torreira.

    This Vieira signing has really thrown the cat amongst the pidgeons

  18. Other than Partey, we still do not have a strong tackling DM.

    Xhaka is more of a strong fouling DM.

    When Partey was missing, late in the season, our defence was pressured down the middle. Neither Elneny nor Lokonga are intimidating enough in my view.

    I would feel much more confident about next season if we had bought a Bissouma type player.

    Maybe we will, but again, I won’t hold my breath.

    One last comment, I am not convinced that Eddie and Jesus will provide the number of goals we will need to get back into the top four, particularly against teams who set up defensively!!!

    But, I live in hope

    1. Look at pools line up of attacking options and compare with ours even with Jesus .. the gap is vast

  19. He seems to play in the same position as Ode .. not sure if he can play as CDM instead of Xhaka!

    I can’t see him replacing Saka .. but maybe MA wanted him as a sub player and he will play him in the other competitions?

    Now it’s time to get a striker ..

  20. Looks good but Arsenal need a strong striker to make use of his skills. Gabriel Jesus could be better replacement for Pepe or Laca but Arsenal need some one more stronger /taller to complement others

  21. I wish him nothing but the best, but could we be a more thirsty fanbase (LOL)

  22. Signing this guy .. who I’m sure is decent … rehiring nketiah .. who is third rate .. and forking out a relatively small amount on a Brazilian hopeful do not suggest a manager with a clear vision ahead …if we don’t get a strong partner for partey a top quality striker and solid competition at RB it’s tough to know what these additions amount to .. very confusing 50m spend

    1. Can you enlighten us with your version of what is a “clear vision”.
      I’m sure you spent longer thinking about it than our confused manager….

      1. like our “clear vision” about our future tactical aspirations moving forward, as our newest signing isn’t exceptionally fast, so if we were to pursue a more city-like 4-3-3, we would have 4 “main” options in the midfield of which 3 are too slow to provide proper cover and get forward

        or if we were going to remain tactically static, within our base 4-2-3-1, where we relied too heavily, at times, on crosses coming in from wide positions, we would still have some midfield concerns, as we’ve witnessed, and likewise have no one with any height whatsoever to get on the end of said crosses

          1. Wouldn’t say Arteta has adapted to the tactical nuances within games yet. Understandable considering he doesn’t have a lot of experience, but hopefully he figures it out this year.

            As far as “clear vision” fair to question that, much the same as many did with Wenger and Emery.

            Was 50 million for White needed? Reasonable question.
            Extending Nketiah on 100k a week? Fair to question astronomical wages for a questionable backup.
            Chasing Dusan for weeks in January when he clearly wasn’t interested?

            Fair to question his vision as many did with Wenger and Emery, unless he is different? And if so, then why?

              1. Well said TVRL ,I banged the drum earlier regarding this player and was met with the same old comments that I’m negative .
                I think primark Pep is trying to go with that 4-3-3 like you said and something he’s talked about for 2 years ,two number 8s with a Dm behind which begs the question if we sign Tielemans where does he fit in with both partey and Xhaka taking up these slots .
                Unless Martinelli will be getting bench as the same as ESR to make room for Artetas own signings
                I haven’t seen pablo play or watched his best highlights but spending 40 million on a wim seems foolish before we have even started to get in reinforcements where we have been lacking .

                1. It’s like the GD Twilight zone on here sometimes…most of the fervor over our new signing has come directly from those who wouldn’t know Vieira if he knocked on their door and kicked them straight in the nads…of course, I want nothing but the best for this player, but for fans to act in such a ridiculous manner, like they’re going to always remember where they were when news of his signing first broke, is straight up bonkers…it’s either a bad case of blinderitis or everyone was so desperate for us to get someone over the line that those within the Apologist ranks simply went full gaga…my only concern was that we made savvy purchases, early in the window, who addressed our most pressing needs…not sure paying above the number for a luxury-type player, before securing a proper Striker and a Xhaka replacement, fits that preferred script

      2. I think the responses below do that better than I could but if you give me 4M quid .. reportedly arteta’s salary .. am happy to give it some more thought!!!

        1. Artetas increased salary is 8.8 mil per annum
          Nice work if you can get It for doing very little

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