Fabio Vieira is set to join the exodus of star players leaving Portugal’s top sides as he joins Arsenal in a transfer worth up to €45 million.
In January, Luis Diaz left Porto and immediately made an impression at Liverpool.
And about a week ago Darwin Nunez decided to join him in Merseyside.
Matheus Nunes is poised to leave Sporting CP, and Vitinha is close to an agreement with PSG.
While Porto team-mate Vieira is bound for the Emirates.
Vieira is an exciting addition as any of the aforementioned stars.
And is capable of becoming Arsenal’s craftiest player since Mesut Ozil peaked.
The 22-year-old Portugal youth international spent most of last season as an attacking midfielder.
When Porto operated in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The Portuguese champions mainly used a 4-4-2 system.
Though, Vieira did not have a defined role in this.
At times, he played as a second striker next to a more traditional No.9 like Mehdi Taremi.
But he was also used on either side of the midfield on occasion.
A creative machine
Primarily, he likes to operate in the right half-space, as his heatmap for the 2021/22 season indicates.
Despite being shifted around positionally, Vieira’s attacking output was very impressive as he scored six goals and assisted 14 others in just 27 appearances.
Just under half of those outings were off the bench, though, so he averaged a formidable 1.15 goal involvements per 90 minutes.
Looking at his shot map, it is clear to see that Vieira loves to cut inside from the wing
And gets shots away from outside the box. Most of his goals, however, have come from inside the penalty area.
As his statistics indicate, though, the main thing he excels at is creating chances for his teammates.
Looking at his key passes from last season, we can clearly see three patterns: through balls from central areas, in-swinging crosses from the right and set-piece deliveries.
How Fabio Vieira will fit in at Arsenal
In Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 formation, both positions where Vieira seems a natural fit as the No.10 or as the right-winger – already have established starters.
Martin Odegaard is similar to Vieira stylistically and has done a great job.
Since making his move from Real Madrid permanent.
While Bukayo Saka currently looks undroppable on the flank.
Of course, Vieira can offer high-quality squad depth in both positions, but with an initial price tag of €40m.
Arsenal certainly is not getting him cheap, so this would be a hefty fee for a rotation option.
One potential opening in a starting spot for Vieira might be in the left of midfield in place of Granit Xhaka.
Although the Swiss international has a deeper role on paper, Arsenal’s system in possession looks a lot more similar to a 4-3-3 than a 4-2-3-1, as his average position from last season indicates.
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