Mikel Arteta rarely shows excitement in press conferences. During his two and a half years in charge, the assembled media have become accustomed to measured responses unless he is pushed for more detail. There is an exception though: when he is discussing Fabio Vieira.
The Arsenal manager’s enthusiasm was clear when the signing was announced. Early on, the Spaniard and technical director Edu referred to the 22-year-old’s presence in the final third as a promising aspect of his game. When given the chance to talk about Vieira further, Arteta has not held back.
“We were looking for players who could play in three positions in the front line and in the attacking midfielder positions. We were looking for very specific qualities in the market and when I saw him, I really liked what I saw,” the 40-year-old said before the Portuguese had started a match for Arsenal.
“Straight away, I was convinced that he was a player who could help us go to the next level and that he had the right personality and character to play for our club.
“It’s a shame that we detected an injury when we were doing the medical. He had no pre-season and everything has been delayed but hopefully, you’re going to see a lot more of him in the next few weeks, and I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it.”
Reservations about Vieira’s physique may still have been present when Ben Mee crunched into him on the touchline at Brentford over the weekend but his response was fitting.