Arsenal's Fabio Vieira issues rallying cry: I want to win Europa League and Premier League

Fabio Vieira has been speaking ahead of Arsenal's Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon

Arsenal's Fabio Vieira issues rallying cry: I want to win Europa League and Premier League

Fabio Vieira has big plans

This article is taken from the Morning Star, where Layth reports on Arsenal

Fábio Daniel Ferreira Vieira might be slight of build but is strong of character.

Which he must be, if he wants to fulfil his dreams.

The 22-year-old hails from Santa maria da Feira in the Aveiro district, not far from the northern Portuguese citadel of Porto.

A saying comparing the nature of Portuguese cities points out that ‘Braga prays, Coimbra studies, Porto works and Lisbon plays.’ 

Vieira has certainly been working hard since his £34m arrival in North London last summer. 

Even if the former Portugal U21 international has only played a limited role in their increasingly momentous season, as they chase down the Premier League title for the first time in 19 long years, he certainly has big ambitions. 

While Vieira has only started two league games - in mitigation he arrived in north London with an injury which stalled his initial progress - the talented creative has gradually become further involved in Mikel Arteta’s hungry young guns, picking up two assists in his past five appearances, as Rubin Amorim’s side head to the Holloway Road.

The citizens of Porto have always had a fierce rivalry with Lisbon, and it was instructive to consider the intense verbal invective aimed at the former Dragaoes midfielder by Sporting Lisbon fans throughout last week’s absorbing Europa League round of 16 first leg tie at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Yet humble Vieira shrugged off the constant abuse and is quietly confident he can also be involved in Arsenal’s second leg against Sporting on Thursday night. He showcased his quality at times in the first leg, not least by setting up Gabriel’s goal from a cornerm in the hectic, if not entirely convincing 2-2 draw in the Portuguese capital last week.  

The unassuming Vieira has steel and substance to meld with his undoubted vision and flair. He also has big ambitions for his club.

In response to a question from the Morning Star at the club's training HQ at London Colney this week, regarding the challenges he has faced since arriving in N5, Vieira turned his answer into a rallying cry laced with self-awareness of how he could improve.

“I want to develop a lot, improve a lot,” he told us. “Physically and in my defensive positioning, I can do better and I’m here to do better.

“To be part of this team, I want to be there to help them - and of course I want to win the Premier League, it would be a dream come true. I want to win both competitions - that is my inspiration.”

No wonder boss Arteta admitted recently revealed Vieira had been giving him ‘headaches’ in his selection through his strong performances in training.

While he has been a regular starter in the Europa League, Vieira is still to fully feature as a regular, with 15 of his 17 league appearances coming off the bench. 

“He is starting to give me big headaches because I see every single day what he is capable of doing,” boss Arteta said recently. “A tremendous player; he now understands exactly what we want and physically he is in a condition to compete at the right level in this league.

“He brings qualities that we don’t have in the squad. [I’m] very eager to give him more [minutes].”

Thursday evening in North London may well provide the stage for Vieira’s burgeoning talent to flourish.


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