Arsenal may benefit from Premier League delay with 'next big thing' set for introduction

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Arsenal may be able to reap the benefits of recent Premier League postponements with Fabio Vieira – dubbed ‘the next big thing’ in his home country – in line to step up to the starting XI. The Portuguese has seen the start of his Gunners career disrupted by injury but Mikel Arteta may now be able to regularly call on his creativity in a bid to keep the early momentum going. 

Vieira completed a £34million switch from Porto during the summer after racking up an impressive 14 league assists last term. A fractured foot left his pre-season in tatters, however, and he has only just come back into the first-team fold. 

A sturdy midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey has served the Gunners well so far this campaign as they top the Premier League table after six matches. Vieira could get a chance to make a case of his own once play resumes, however, with the weekend’s round of fixtures postponed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. 

That will give Vieira extra time to regain match sharpness with a European tie against PSV Eindhoven scheduled for Thursday and a trip to Brentford on Sunday. 

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Many in Vieira’s native Portugal have tipped him to be ‘the next big thing’, with some comparing him to Manchester City maestro Bernardo Silva. However, former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has urged the youngster to work on the physical side of his game in order to thrive in the Premier League. 

“It was his first start [against Zurich] and it was always going to be a tough one,” he said. “Look, the opposition weren’t great. And you know what they are going to do about it? Make up for it with grit, and that’s what they did. We saw flashes of quality [from Vieira]. The one quality we did see was him releasing Eddie [Nketiah] down the left-hand side for the goal.

“He showed good touches. They had a bit more grit in midfield and that’s what he has to learn. He is playing for Arsenal now. When Arsenal turn up, you are going to get the best of everybody else. At the end of the day, he has to get used to the physicality. People know he can play. People know that, if you give him space and time, then he’s a good player and he will hurt you.

“What’s the first thing they are going to do? Stop him playing. Get into him and make sure he can’t get his head up. He has a lot to learn. He has to build his body up, that’s for sure. I thought it was an okay start considering it was his first start.”



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