While the majority of Arsenal’s transfer gossip has revolved around the potential moves for Gabriel Jesus and Youri Tielemans, it looks like Mikel Arteta and Edu were making other moves in secret. David Ornstein dropped a transfer bomb today from out of the blue, as it appears that the Gunners are in the final stages of signing Fabio Vieira from Portuguese side FC Porto.
Fabio Vieira set to join Arsenal from Porto. Fee €35m + €5m, 5yr deal. 22yo AMF flying to London today & will undergo medical before completing move. Process started + managed by Jorge Mendes, @TheAthleticUK after @pedromsepulveda scoop #AFC #FCPorto https://t.co/b839GEGBRC— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 16, 2022
Transfer leaks have become increasingly more frequent and accurate in the modern age of social media, which makes this one comes as a true surprise, and a bit refreshing at that. Few, if any, major outlets had this on their radar before this week, but the move will certainly come as a welcome sigh of relief for Gunners fans. With all the transfer buzz around North London, there was nary a mention of Fábio Vieira. The Portuguese midfielder had been linked with Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester United, but not with the Gunners.
And Arsenal got him. I like that the interest and the signing was kept well under-wraps. It makes it feel as if the front office knows what they are doing. It’s more professional than the endless back and forth, rumor mill nonsense in the media. Not to mention that quietly getting the guys you want helps you avoid bidding wars. The move is also a good reminder that the football ops / transfer people at the club are always up to something, even if there isn’t much being reported.
The dire need for midfield depth has been well-covered, especially after Arsenal’s late implosion last season, and Vieira’s incoming transfer provides a bit of depth in a position of need. Vieira profiles as an attacking midfielder who chipped in 6 goals and 14 assists for Porto last season. Martin Odegaard was Arsenal’s primary creative midfield force last season, so the inclusion of another player who can set up the attackers for success will be tremendous.
He has received favorable comparisons to Bernardo Silva in the past, which is not at all a bad player to be compared to. He has a high work rate, is aggressive as a presser, and is a quality progressor of the ball. All of those fall in line with Arteta’s favored style of player, not to mention he is only 22.
Whether or not this transfer has any impact on Arsenal’s pursuit of Tielemans remains to be seen. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arsenal look to secure the Belgian as well to give the midfield further depth and quality. With Granit Xhaka a bit of relic and Partey unable to stay healthy consistently, the need for depth couldn’t be more apparent.
Stay tuned as the transfer progresses.