Meet the 22-year-old Portuguese attacking player who just became the next rising star to join Mike Arteta’s Arsenal FC.
After days of waiting for things to become officially official, Fábio Vieira is finally a Gunner. At 22, the Portuguese attacking midfielder brings intensity, pace, and intelligence to an Arsenal FC squad hoping to secure a berth in the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League through some keen restructuring through the transfer window under Mikel Arteta.
Vieira’s undeniable talent began to show out while climbing the youth ranks at FC Porto, now the reigning champions of Portugal’s top-flight Primeira Liga. There, Fábio flourished against some of world football’s brightest upcoming stars during the 2019 UEFA Youth League campaign.
Vieira joined the Gunners this week on a club-friendly transfer fee of approximately $37 million (€35 million), accompanied by $5.3 million (€5 million) in potential add-ons.
Let’s get to know the creative midfielder who has a chance to slot seamlessly into Arteta’s big plans.
Fábio Vieira Contract & Transfer Details
Wage figures are approximations courtesy of Football.London.
Contract length: 6 years
Expected weekly wages: $31,462 (€29,720)
Expected annual wages: $1,636,000 (€1,545,000)
Free agency: 2028
Base transfer fee: $37,000,000 (€35,000,000)
Maximum transfer fee: $42,300,000 (€40,000,000)
Estimated market value: $27,500,000 (via Transfermarkt)
Rise to Prominence
Fábio proved that he was instantly prepared for the Premier League with his performances in a senior Porto shirt. Despite his young age, Vieira made 54 appearances for Porto, scoring eight goals from the midfield. His game control and accurate passing are the lead catalysts for Porto’s number 1 ranking in their respective league for three consecutive years.
Additionally, Vieira led the Primeira Liga in assists per 90 minutes (0.74), ranking better than top midfielders like Paul Pogba, Thomas Müller, and Marco Reus in their respective leagues.
In the 2020 Champion’s League, however, is where he shined. With the best players, managers, and teams around Europe watching, he replicated his efforts, even scoring a goal during the tournament.
The Value Fábio Vieira Brings to Arsenal
The actual value of an elite midfielder doesn’t always show up in beloved statistics. It’s not always about scoring goals. Instead, it’s constantly in the correct position to receive and pass the ball. Great midfielders are well-oiled machine engines, ensuring that the offensive and defensive lines are always in sync.
How Vieira’s stats ranked in the Primeira Liga in 2021-22:
Shots: 46 (No. 6)
Chances created: 34 (No. 5)
Expected goals: 3.68 (No. 6)
Expected assists: 5.00 (No. 3)
Tackle accuracy 48.3% (No. 6)
Beyond simply the numbers, Vieira also passes the midfielder eye test. That’s ultimately what piqued the interest of Arteta — as well as Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur — in the player.
How Fábio Vieira Fits in at Arsenal
Vieira is a creator all over the pitch. While primarily used as an attacking midfielder, Arsenal will have the luxury of pairing him alongside another young, talented midfielder in Martin Ødegaard — unless Arteta plans on giving him a run-out on the right flank in a role he appeared in only briefly at Porto.
He can shuttle the ball forward, has excellent anticipation to pick off lazy passes, and has the work rate to track back and help the defense.
Being able to fill several different roles depending on need is a delight for any manager. Whether at midfield, second striker, or on the right wing, Arsenal secured a young player for what very much appears to be a great deal for the long term.