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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta regrets not giving Fabio Vieira more playing time

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has conceded he hasn’t given Fabio Vieira enough first-team opportunities amid the midfielder’s superb start to the season.

The Gunners paid Porto around €35 million plus another €5m in add-ons to sign the left-footed playmaker in 2022 after the youngster enjoyed two stellar seasons in the Primeira Liga.

However, the 23-year-old struggled for regular first-team football at the Emirates Stadium last season, making only three Premier League starts while often failing to impact the play when on the field.

Vieira racked up 22 league appearances for Arsenal during his maiden season in England’s top flight, with many people expecting the London outfit to part ways with the ex-Porto man in the summer.

But Arteta has decided to give the prodigious midfielder the benefit of the doubt, which has proved a massive hit in the early 2023/24 season.

Despite still seeking his first goal of the new campaign, Vieira has been nothing short of impressive, developing a strong midfield connection with Martin Odegaard.

He has clocked two assists in three Premier League outings this season, forcing Arteta to include him in his starting line-up in a hard-earned 1-0 win at Everton last weekend.

Speaking to the press in the build-up to Arsenal’s Champions League clash against PSV Eindhoven, the Spaniard delivered his verdict on Vieira’s rise to prominence.

Arteta also admitted he made a mistake by not playing the Portuguese starlet more often in the past.

“That was my fault,” he said, as relayed by the Daily Mirror.

“I said many times you know that I haven’t played him enough and that he hadn’t had enough room in the team maybe, with the competitions that we play to participate more.

“But we see every day the talent that he’s got and what he can bring to the team – I was really happy with the performance at the weekend.”

Vieira is a viable candidate to start alongside Declan Rice and Odegaard in Arteta’s midfield trident when Arsenal and PSV lock horns on Wednesday.

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