Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media earlier today in his pre-match presser as he and his young Gunners prepare to come to grips with Swiss champions FC Zürich tomorrow night at Letzigrund stadion.
Despite their one hundred percent record in the Premier League coming to an end at the weekend after Erik ten Hag’s surging Manchester United dispatched Arsenal at Old Trafford in a 3-1 win, Arsenal remains atop the table in the English top flight and will go into their continental campaign commitments this season brimming with confidence after being drawn in a very favorable group.
Along with Zürich, Arsenal was also drawn into Group A with Norwegian dark horse FK Bodø/Glimt as well as Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in what should hopefully prove a straightforward group stage affair for the north London outfit, but the Gunners go into tomorrow night’s clash already without the services of four members of the senior squad, with Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Emile Smith Rowe, and Cédric Soares all missing out on an away day in the global banking capital.
There is a certain measure of frustration around Smith Rowe as well, with the Hale End academy graduate absent from training over the last few days due to discomfort in the area of concern regarding his injury, leaving Arsenal still somewhat short of attacking options as the seasons begins to heat up in terms of match commitments.
But despite Smith Rowe being unable to figure prominently as of yet when compared to his superb contributions last season, Arteta did leave breadcrumbs regarding what is yet to come from summer signing Fábio Vieira.
“Hopefully you’re gonna see a lot more of him in the next few weeks and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy.”
Indeed, Vieira still remains somewhat of an enigma to Arsenal supporters despite the buzz surrounding the Portuguese U21 international after he was phenomenal for FC Porto last season.
Capable of playing as an 8, 10, or on the right flank, his tactical flexibility, technical craft, and intelligence on the ball should stand him in good stead in terms of his capability to pick up where many hoped Smith Rowe would continue in the team currently, with tomorrow night coming at the perfect time for Vieira to show the Arsenal fanbase - and Arteta - what he hopes to bring to north London.