Fabio Vieira becomes Arsenal's third signing of the summer as Portuguese midfielder arrives in £34m deal from Porto; 22-year-old scored six league goals in 15 starts last season
Friday 17 June 2022 15:06, UK
Porto have confirmed the deal to sell midfielder Fabio Vieira to Arsenal for £34m including add-ons.
The 22-year-old Portuguese is the Gunners' third summer arrival, after goalkeeper Matt Turner and Brazilian forward Marquinhos. Arsenal will pay £30m up front plus £4m in performance-related add-ons.
Vieira won the player of the tournament award at last year's European U21 Championship.
Vieira will add further creative talent to Arsenal's ranks, with the highly-rated midfielder having laid on a league-high 14 assists in the 2021/22 Primera Liga campaign.
"The club informs the market that it has reached an agreement with Arsenal FC for the signing, on a permanent basis, of Fabio Vieira for the amount of 40million Euros," read a Porto statement.
Arsenal are yet to announce the signing but Vieira was understood to have been in north London on Thursday for a medical.
Mikel Arteta is expected to continue to push for further summer recruits at Arsenal, with Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus heavily linked to an Emirates Stadium switch and Leicester's Youri Tielemans another target.
Vieira scored six league goals for Porto in 15 starts last season and has scored 13 goals in 21 appearances for Portugal U21s.
Analysis by Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda:
We are talking about a player who plays on the right wing and he uses his game to move from the wing to the middle. But he can easily play in other places like the left wing and as an offensive midfielder, a No 10, as he is not that fast. But he has a lot of flexibility with the ball and very good positioning without the ball as well.
Many people in England are maybe asking why Arsenal are paying that money for a player who was not always in the Porto XI, but if you look at the numbers, they do not lie - he played 39 games for Porto last season, with seven goals and 16 assists.
If you look at the goals he scored, they were all in important matches. He scored against Sporting, the champions from the previous season, and against Benfica, Porto's other great rival. And the time he was on the pitch, he was making great performances, including in the Champions League too.
Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam on Fabio Vieira:
He is very highly rated and this can be seen as a really exciting move in the transfer window for Mikel Arteta.
He's 22 years old, technically very gifted so he fits in with the Arsenal mould of players. He has great movement, very graceful on the ball, he wants to get on it.
He plays really as a No 8, he has played out wide as a winger or as a false nine, but playing at the heart of midfield is where he's at his best.
He's been described to me by a Premier League recruitment scout as a lovely footballer, someone great on the eye and would love to have in your side.
Six goals in 15 starts for Porto this season, 13 goals in 21 games for Portugal U21s - that tells you all you need to know about the type of midfielder he is.
Guardian football writer and Italian football expert Nicky Bandini told Sky Sports:
"I think it's too early to say it would give them the edge as there's a long way to go in the transfer window and Arsenal are having to catch up. It won't be easy next season as they will be in the Europa League.
"The Thursday-Sunday schedule does have a negative impact on domestic performance so it's going to be tough for Arsenal to bridge the gap.
"If you're going to do that, you've got to be encouraged by the club doing their business early. Addressing a big area up front in signing Gabriel Jesus is a positive step.
"His goals-to-expected-goals ratio is one of the weakest in the Premier League since he arrived but his goalscoring has been prolific. He's got more than a goal every other game so his productivity has been very high.
"Arsenal have been crying out for someone to be on the end of those chances consistently. It was the one thing that was missing last season.
"Fabio Vieira is a different case as he plays in an area where the team already has an abundance of creative players.
"He can fit into the midfield, but if you look at to what Mikel Arteta said when he took over, he harked back to an era when Arsenal had so many of these types of players.
"It's a strength and it's a position Arteta has wanted Arsenal to get to ever since he arrived. The idea that he is building towards the team he wants is reinforced with these transfers."
Arsenal will start their 2022/23 Premier League campaign away at Crystal Palace on August 5, live on Friday Night Football.
Mikel Arteta's side, who finished fifth in the Premier League last term, will then host Leicester City on August 13 before travelling to newly-promoted Bournemouth on August 20.
The Gunners' first north London derby will take place at Emirates Stadium on October 1, while the return game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is early in the new year on January 14.
Arsenal's final game before the season pauses for the winter World Cup will be away to Wolves on the weekend of November 12/13. They will then return to action on Boxing Day, entertaining West Ham.
The final day of the Premier League season is on May 28, where Arsenal will close out their campaign at home to Wolves.
Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.