Arsenal have confirmed that new summer signing Fabio Vieira will wear the No.21 shirt following the official announcement of his arrival.
News emerged late last week that Mikel Arteta had identified the FC Porto playmaker as a priority signing in what promises to be another summer of major overhaul at the Emirates. The Gunners had already confirmed the transfer of Sao Paulo teenager Marquinhos – but while the Brazilian is one for the future, Vieira is very much for the here and now.
Aged just 22, the Portugal youth international played an integral role in Porto winning the league last season, registering six goals and 14 assists in Liga NOS alone. He arrives in north London with a reputation as one of the most exciting young midfield players in Europe and should integrate perfectly into a side already brimming with youthful exuberance.
”I am very excited that we have identified and signed such a special talent,” Gunners boss Arteta said. “Fabio is a very creative player that will bring high quality and versatility to our attacking play.
“We welcome Fabio and his family to our club and are looking forward to starting work with him ahead of the new season.”
It is understood that Arsenal have signed Vieira in a deal which could reach £34million, with Arteta being firmly backed for the second successive summer. The Gunners were the Premier League ’s top spenders last summer, outlying almost £150m and technical director Edu has hinted there is plenty more to come as they look to mount an assault on the top four.
“We’re so pleased to have completed the signing of Fabio from FC Porto,” Edu explained. “Fabio is a player with special qualities who is comfortable with the ball in the final third of the pitch.
“We are all looking forward to working with him and enjoying his future contribution to Arsenal. We will now continue to work hard and are looking forward to finishing this transfer window as strongly as possible.”
Their new signing also means Arsenal fans will once again be able to wear the name Vieira on the back of their shirts, having done so during Patrick’s legendary nine-year stint at the club.
But it won’t be the old ‘Vieira 4’ combination that is so iconic in Premier League history, with the latest Gunners midfielder going for the 21 jersey. That was most recently worn by Calum Chambers, who joined Aston Villa in January, with back-up keeper Lukasz Fabianski wearing it before.
It does of course mean the No.9 shirt remains vacant ahead of a potential move for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus. With the transfer of Vieira now officially confirmed, all focus now turns to landing a forward, having seen Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette leave in 2022.
Arsenal remain cautiously optimistic they will be able to get a deal over the line for Jesus, who knows his opportunities at the Etihad will be limited due to Erling Haaland ’s presence. Tottenham are also said to be in the mix however and of course have the additional lure of Champions League football, having pipped their arch rivals to fourth place last season.