Arsenal have confirmed a deal sign midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto for £ 34m including add ons.
The 22-year-old is the Gunners’ third summer arrival after goalkeeper Matt Turner and Brazil forward Marquinhos. Arsenal will pay £ 30m up front plus £ 4m in performance-related add-ons.
Vieira, who underwent his medical in north London last week, won the player of the tournament award at last year’s European U21 Championship.
Vieira scored six league goals for Porto in 15 starts last season and has scored 13 goals in 21 appearances for Portugal U21s.
The Portugal midfielder will add further creative talent to Arsenal’s ranks having laid on a league-high 14 assists for Porto in the 2021/22 Primera Liga campaign.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “I am very excited that we have identified and signed such a special talent.
“Fabio is a very creative player that will bring high quality and versatility to our attacking play.
“We welcome Fabio and his family to our club and are looking forward to starting work with him ahead of the new season.”
Arteta, meanwhile, is expected to continue to push for further summer recruits at Arsenal, with Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus heavily linked to an Emirates Stadium switch and Leicester’s Youri Tielemans another target.
‘The numbers do not lie’
Analysis by Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda:
We are talking about a player who plays on the right wing and he uses his game to move from the wing to the middle. But he can easily play in other places like the left wing and as an offensive midfielder, a No 10, as he is not that fast. But he has a lot of flexibility with the ball and very good positioning without the ball as well.
Many people in England are maybe asking why Arsenal are paying that money for a player who was not always in the Porto XI, but if you look at the numbers, they do not lie – he played 39 games for Porto last season, with seven goals and 16 assists.
If you look at the goals he scored, they were all in important matches. He scored against Sporting, the champions from the previous season, and against Benfica, Porto’s other great rival. And the time he was on the pitch, he was making great performances, including in the Champions League too.
What can Arsenal expect from Vieira?
Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam on Fabio Vieira:
He is very highly rated and this can be seen as a really exciting move in the transfer window for Mikel Arteta.
He’s 22 years old, technically very gifted so he fits in with the Arsenal mold of players. He has great movement, very graceful on the ball, he wants to get on it.
He plays really as a No 8, he has played out wide as a winger or as a false nine, but playing at the heart of midfield is where he’s at his best.
He’s been described to me by a Premier League recruitment scout as a lovely footballer, someone great on the eye and would love to have in your side.
Six goals in 15 starts for Porto this season, 13 goals in 21 games for Portugal U21s – that tells you all you need to know about the type of midfielder he is.
Would signing Jesus and Vieira give Arsenal edge in CL battle?
Guardian football writer and Italian football expert Nicky Bandini told Sky Sports:
“I think it’s too early to say it would give them the edge as there’s a long way to go in the transfer window and Arsenal are having to catch up. It won’t be easy next season as they will be in the Europa League.
“The Thursday-Sunday schedule does have a negative impact on domestic performance so it’s going to be tough for Arsenal to bridge the gap.
“If you’re going to do that, you’ve got to be encouraged by the club doing their business early. Addressing a big area up front in signing Gabriel Jesus is a positive step.
“His goals-to-expected-goals ratio is one of the weakest in the Premier League since he arrived but his goalscoring has been prolific. He’s got more than a goal every other game so his productivity has been very high.
“Arsenal have been crying out for someone to be on the end of those chances consistently. It was the one thing that was missing last season.
“Fabio Vieira is a different case as he plays in an area where the team already has an abundance of creative players.
“He can fit into the midfield, but if you look at what Mikel Arteta said when he took over, he harked back to an era when Arsenal had so many of these types of players.
“It’s a strength and it’s a position Arteta has wanted Arsenal to get to ever since he arrived. The idea that he is building towards the team he wants is reinforced with these transfers.”
Arsenal fixtures: Gunners start at Palace
Arsenal will start their 2022/23 Premier League campaign away at Crystal Palace on August 5, live on Friday Night Football.
Mikel Arteta’s side, who finished fifth in the Premier League last term, will then host Leicester City on August 13 before traveling to the newly-promoted Bournemouth on August 20.
The Gunners’ first north London derby will take place at Emirates Stadium on October 1, while the return game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is early in the new year on January 14.
Arsenal’s final game before the season pauses for the winter World Cup will be away to Wolves on the weekend of November 12/13. They will then return to action on Boxing Day, entertaining West Ham.
The final day of the Premier League season is on May 28, where Arsenal will close out their campaign at home to Wolves.
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
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