Mikel Arteta was delighted with ’s second half cameo against Fulham and insisted it is his own fault that the international hasn’t featured more regularly this season.
After an underwhelming first season at following his £35million move from Porto, Vieira could have been forgiven for feeling his first team chances would have been further hindered by the summer arrival of and return to full fitness of Emile Smith Rowe.
Indeed, the 23-year-old failed to feature at all during the opening two games of Arsenal’s season against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace and again started on the bench against the Cottagers.
Vieira’s introduction at the expense of Kai Havertz, 10 minutes into the second half with his side still trailing to Andreas Pereira’s first minute opener, was greeted with a measure of surprise by the home crowd but he delivered one of his most accomplished performances in an Arsenal shirt.
The Portugal Under-21 international won the penalty from which Bukayo Saka drew Arsenal level and then created what looked like it would be the winning goal for Eddie Nketiah, before Joao Paulinha provided a late sting in the tail.
‘Fabio was excellent and it is the first minutes he’s played in the PL this season and I was really impressed with how he wanted the ball and how positive he was, the decisions that he made and the attitude that he had straight away,’ said Arteta.
‘Fabio was involved in everything we created and I am really happy with that. To see players with the ability to make and take chances with quality.
‘It is my fault that Fabio has not played more and today he gave me reasons to play him more.’
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