Fabio Vieira has had a fairly difficult first season at Arsenal, and some have questioned his future at the club.
The 23-year-old arrived as a fairly surprising signing from Porto last year, but after beginning the season with an injury, he started brightly before struggling in the second half of the season.
He has shown flashes of his talent, with his stunning goal against Brentford on his first League start a particular highlight, but he found the physical nature of the Premier League difficult to cope with at times.
However, Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the USA has allowed him to regain confidence, and he has performed well in his appearances so far. His most impressive moment came as a substitute in last night’s victory over Barcelona, where he picked the ball up in front of the opposition box before launching a stunning long-range effort beyond Inaki Pena in goal.
This strike alone highlights Vieira’s immense technical ability, and despite the arrival of Kai Havertz, Vieira can have a huge impact next season as he adjusts to life in North London.
MORE ARSENAL STORIES
How can Vieira succeed next season?
It is clear that Vieira’s strengths lie in the final third, with his exceptional eye for a pass or long shot coming in useful near the opposition box, rather than being a combative midfielder further back.
What he lacks in physical size, he can make up for with his technique, but he has not had a lot of opportunities to showcase how useful he can be. The arrival of Declan Rice could help take the defensive burden off him, and he can be a very impactful substitute if positioned further forward.
Getting Vieira on the ball into attacking zones near the opposition box will allow him to play a key pass or shoot, and his end product has been impressive in his limited game time, notching up six assists last season.
He has been described as “dangerous” by Mikel Arteta, and this emphasises how much his manager rates his ability in attack. Now he has had some time to adapt to the team and his new surroundings, he can help push the likes of Martin Odegaard and Havertz for a starting spot and become a difference-maker going forward.
His goal against Barcelona showcased what he can do best with the ball at his feet in space, and he deserves more chances to prove this to the Arsenal fanbase.