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Mikel Arteta 'unhappy with Arsenal attacker's training perfomances'

Mikel Arteta 'unhappy with Arsenal attacker's training perfomances'
© Reuters
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly unhappy with the training performances of Fabio Vieira, who struggled for game time throughout the 2023-24 season.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has supposedly been left unhappy with the performances of one of his out-of-favour attackers in training.

The capture of Fabio Vieira from Porto in 2022 was seen as a major coup at the time, as the Portuguese playmaker had registered 14 assists in the 2021-22 Primeira Liga campaign.

The 23-year-old's first few weeks at Arsenal saw him score a long-range screamer in a 3-0 win over Brentford in September 2022, but he has had to accept the role of Martin Odegaard's backup over the past two years.

Vieira has also been deployed on the right wing as a replacement for Bukayo Saka on occasion, but he remains low down Arteta's pecking order and failed to make serious progress in the 2023-24 campaign.

The Portugal Under-21 international came up with two goals and three assists in 17 appearances for the Gunners, and even though his cause was not helped by a serious groin injury, he was seldom called upon when fit.

Bids to be entertained for Vieira this summer?

Arsenal's Fabio Vieira is shown a red card by referee Michael Oliver on November 11, 2023© Reuters

Since recovering from his operation, Vieira earned just 54 minutes of Premier League football in three appearances, and he was an unused substitute in each of the Gunners' final four games of the season.

Earning just two starts in the 2023-24 Premier League season and last making a first XI in November's EFL Cup loss to West Ham United, The Athletic reports that Vieira's training displays have left a lot to be desired.

As a result, Arteta has apparently not closed the door on letting the 23-year-old leave this summer, even though he is under contract at the Emirates for another three seasons.

Arsenal paid just shy of £30m to prise Vieira away from his homeland in 2022, and the Portuguese midfielder boasts a total of three goals and nine assists in 49 appearances for the North London giants.

Vieira quickly struck up a friendship with Gabriel Martinelli - another player who struggled for form in 2023-24 - upon his arrival, but he could now be allowed to leave in the right circumstances.

Can Arsenal afford to sell Vieira this summer?

Fabio Vieira celebrates scoring for Arsenal on September 17, 2022© Reuters

Vieira's slight frame stuck out like a sore thumb when he joined the Gunners two years ago, and it was no surprise to see his game time in 2023-24 limited while he focused on bulking up to Premier League standard.

The 23-year-old still does not a fearsome physical figure, but given the unrelenting demands on Saka and Odegaard during Arsenal's pursuit of Premier League and Champions League success, he rightly could have expected more game time.

Arteta is often criticised for failing to rotate his resources, but if Vieira can start to apply himself in training and show that he belongs at London Colney, the Spaniard arguably cannot afford to let him leave.

In terms of replacements for Saka on the right-wing, Vieira is just one of two alternatives alongside Reiss Nelson, who is even further down the pecking order and is expected to head for the exit door in the summer window.

Emile Smith Rowe's future also hangs in the balance too, so if both Englishman end their long-running associations with Arsenal, letting Vieira go as well would leave Arsenal too thin on the versatile attackers/midfielders front.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta pictured on April 20, 2024
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