Could Fábio Vieira be a surprise striker option for Arsenal?
Mikel Arteta is facing one of his toughest challenges of the season, with Arsenal set to be without their star striker Gabriel Jesus for the foreseeable future after he underwent surgery on a knee injury sustained at the World Cup.
Jesus brought so much to the Arsenal team during the first-half of the campaign. So the task ahead of Eddie Nketiah looks to be absolutely huge. He needs to play the best football of his career to date to fill the void.
Fortunately for Arsenal, the January transfer window is just around the corner. So dipping into the market could be one option the Gunners consider. However, that comes with its own problems.
Arsenal need a striker to come in who is good enough to replace Jesus, but also willing to sign knowing that they will probably be a backup once the Brazilian is back. And January is never an easy window to make significant signings in.
Arsenal face dilemma without star striker
They do have other options. Gabriel Martinelli can play up front. And Bukayo Saka seems capable of playing just about anywhere, so it would be no surprise if he had the ability to become a 15-goal a season striker in the future, in truth.
They could also look to their amazing academy ranks in the hope that something just clicks.
But perhaps there is another name that few seem to be talking about.
Fábio Vieira is not a striker.
Not the best start, admittedly.
But he does have experience of playing in a very advanced role. At Porto last season, he made 10 appearances as a second striker. And actually, he posted a very good record in that role.
He scored three goals and provided nine assists in those 10 games, according to Transfermarkt.
Jesus has shown that being a success leading the line for Arsenal is about a lot more than scoring goals yourself. His presence has got the best out of the likes of Saka, Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard. Only Saka is facing a battle to eclipse his tally of league goals from last season this time around.
Vieira has the attributes to bring his teammates into play. He has brilliant vision, is an excellent dribbler of the ball, and plays some superb passes.
It is not ideal. But if Arsenal do not have a new signing through the door and Nketiah is struggling, perhaps the £34 million man could be someone Mikel Arteta considers turning to.
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