Fabio Vieira hasn’t set the world alight in his time as an Arsenal player so far.

Arsenal paid £34 million to sign Fabio Vieira last summer from Porto. It was a surprise move, and the fee suggested that the Gunners had huge faith in the young Portuguese playmaker.

Mikel Arteta demonstrated more of that belief in Vieira’s ability by giving the 23-year-old plenty of opportunities to shine last season. He made 22 appearances in the Premier League alone. 

Vieira often got on the pitch ahead of the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson, two popular products of the club’s Hale End academy.

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However, a few flashes of quality aside, Vieira did little last season to justify his price tag. Arteta has already stated he wants “more” from the attacking midfielder.

Of course, his age means he has plenty of time on his side, but with Arsenal looking to mount another title challenge this year and compete in the Champions League, Arteta has a big decision to make about what the next step is for Vieira.

Arsenal Training Session
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What next for Fabio Vieira?

Selling the player isn’t something the north London club would likely countenance. They would make a huge loss on the outlay it took to bring him to the Emirates Stadium last year. Besides that, they will still have faith that the player can come good for them.

To fulfil his potential, though, he needs regular game time. That will be harder for him to come by this season. Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard are nailed-on starters. Nelson recently signed a new contract with club, and Smith Rowe looked resurgent with England at the under-21 European Championship this summer. 

On top of that, the arrival of Kai Havertz and the occasional use of Leandro Trossard in a more central role may have knocked Vieira further down the pecking order.

Arsenal v FC Barcelona - Pre-Season Friendly
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A temporary solution

Vieira needs to be a regular starter and get fully acclimatised to the physical demands of the Premier League. To that end, in order to stand a chance of getting their money’s worth out of the player, the Gunners must secure a loan move for him this summer. Even a short-term loan until January, when Arteta could reassess the player’s readiness, would be a smart move.

Failure to do so would heighten the risk of their initial investment ultimately going to waste.

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