Arsenal’s plans to strengthen their midfield in the upcoming transfer window have suffered a significant setback with the confirmation of an injury to midfielder Fabio Vieira, who will now miss the Under-21s European Championship.
The Portuguese Football Federation has announced that the 23-year-old midfielder, who was set to captain the team in Georgia and Romania, has been forced to withdraw from the tournament due to his injury.
Vieira had been included in Rui Jorge’s squad alongside his Arsenal teammate Nuno Tavares.
The Portuguese Football Federation released a statement stating that Vieira’s medical condition, which has been evaluated and monitored by the Federation’s Health and Performance United (USP), has not shown the expected progress necessary for his participation in the Under-21 Euro. As a result, he will be replaced by Diego Moreira, who is also a transfer target for Chelsea.
This withdrawal from the summer tournament is the latest setback for Vieira, who has had a challenging year. Since his £34 million move to Arsenal, he has struggled to establish a regular role in Mikel Arteta’s side, starting only three Premier League games in total.
In his final start of the season against Southampton, he was substituted after 57 minutes.
Mikel Arteta acknowledged the difficulties faced by Vieira, stating that the match against Southampton was tough for many players, and the lack of minutes on the pitch didn’t help the midfielder’s performance. Arsenal’s pursuit of strengthening their midfield this summer, with targets like Declan Rice and Romeo Lavia, makes Vieira’s injury a significant blow for the club.
A productive pre-season would have been crucial for Vieira to improve his chances of featuring prominently in the upcoming season. However, with Arsenal’s return to the Champions League, opportunities for playing time are expected to be limited, making his injury even more unfortunate for both the player and the club.