Arsenal secured their second signing of the summer on Tuesday after announcing the signing of Fabio Vieira from FC Porto for £ 34 million. Reports surfaced of his transfer just six days ago, but the pace and agility of the negotiations meant he quickly became a Gunner.
The 22-year-old delivered the most assists in the Primeira Liga last season with 16, while also scoring seven goals. He is expected to come in to give competition to the likes of Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and even Granit Xhaka, with his versatility enabling him to play pretty much anywhere in midfield.
After finding out even more about Vieira over the last few days, it is clear that his technical skills and intelligence on the ball are what make him stand out from the rest. Comfortable in ball possession, awkward with his feet and a major threat in the final third, he will no doubt bring extra fluidity to Arsenal’s attacking phases.
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Everything you read, listen to or see about the player is positive and Porto fans are completely sad that he is back. But no matter how good a transfer it may seem, there is always something people have their concerns about, and Vieira is no exception.
His slender physique and build have left worries about his adaptation to the physical character that comes with English football. While I can understand where they are coming from, there is far more than just strength that makes you a success on the field.
Think of Bernardo Silva, for example, he also switched to the Premier League at the age of 22 while having a slim frame. He was not known for his physical strength, but more for his technical quality and abilities on the ball. Today, one can safely say that it is a move that succeeded and Silva is actually one with whom Arsenal’s new boy has been compared.
In addition, Vieira himself has admitted that physics is an area he seeks to improve. “As for what I have to work on, I would say the physical side of my game,” he told Arsenal.com. It is also important to remember that the club now has a full pre-season to get him in the best possible shape.
A lot of work will be physically based, and the coaching team will develop a fitness program that best suits the individual. In addition to training, club chefs and nutritionists often provide a special diet to develop and maintain a healthy body, again, this will be varied to match the needs of the players.
All of these factors will be taken into account when the team returns in the coming weeks and I am confident that Vieira will successfully adapt to English football. He may need some time to become familiar, and that is normal, but there is a strong sense of faith that he will get there.
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