Arsenal secured their second signing of the summer on Tuesday after announcing the £34million arrival of Fabio Vieira from FC Porto. Reports surfaced about his transfer just six days ago, but the pace and smoothness of negotiations meant he swiftly became a Gunner.
The 22-year-old provided the most assists in the Primeira Liga last season with 16, while also scoring seven goals. He is expected to come in to provide competition for 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’s clear that his technical ability and intelligence on the ball are what make him stand out from the rest. Comfortable in possession, tricky with his feet and a major threat in the final third, he will no doubt bring added fluidity to Arsenal’s attacking phases of play.
Everything you read, listen to or watch about the player is positive, and Porto fans are absolutely gutted he’s left. However, no matter how good of a transfer it may seem, there is always something people have their worries about and Vieira’s no exception.
His lean physique and build has left concerns over his adjustment to the physicality that comes with English football. Although I can understand where they are coming from, there’s far more than just strength that makes you a success on the pitch.
Think about Bernardo Silva, for example, he also made the switch to the Premier League at the age of 22 while possessing a slim frame. He wasn’t known for his physical strength, but more for his technical quality and skill on the ball. Today, you can safely say it’s a move that worked out and Silva is actually someone that the Arsenal new boy has been likened to.
Additionally, Vieira himself has admitted that physicality is an area he’s looking to improve. “As for what I need to work on, I’d say the physical side of my game,” he told Arsenal.com. It’s also important to remember that the club now has a full pre-season to get him in the best shape possible.
A lot of work will be physical based and the coaching staff will set out a fitness programme that best suits each individual. As well as the training, club chefs and nutritionists often provide a special diet to evolve and maintain a healthy body, again, this will be varied to match the players’ needs.
All of these factors will be taken into consideration as the squad returns over the coming weeks and I’m confident Vieira will successfully adjust to English football. He may need some time to familiarise himself and that’s normal, but there’s a strong sense of belief that he’ll get there.