Arsenal cannot undo £34m transfer mistake as Edu plans major midfield overhaul

Fabio Vieira remains in a stage of uncertainty at Arsenal
-Credit: (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The future of a number of Arsenal players remains up in the air as loans end and the season comes to a close. The likes of Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Kieran Tierney will return from spells away and likely find permanent exits elsewhere whilst some players in Mikel Arteta’s squad will face the same fate.

Emile Smith Rowe, Aaron Ramsdale, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson are the four homegrown talents who will all be in discussions with the club over their futures. Meanwhile, Fabio Vieira is perhaps one of the most interesting profiles with the greatest amount of questions alongside him.

Since his £34million arrival for FC Porto in 2022, the Portuguese midfielder has been unable to establish himself in the Arsenal side due to form and injury. He missed a significant portion of this season after suffering several problems, Arteta admitted before the New Year.

He had shown promise at the beginning of the season with some good cameos but failed to build on them. Even should Smith Rowe leave, opening the door to potential further opportunities, there have been recent concerns raised which keep Vieira’s future in the dark.

According to The Athletic, his contributions in training mean that new considerations over his future are being made. Certainly at this moment in time it has not appeared like a good investment of more than £30million and fans will argue it could have potentially been spent better.

The benefit for the Gunners is, rightfully, they can argue the majority of deals and the bulk of their investment under the current regime has been excellent. The squad has been improved so that it finished just two points behind a Man City side considered far stronger in terms of depth.

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That remains the strategy for Arsenal’s summer, improve depth. Can Vieira and Smith Rowe provide the competitive quality that Arteta needs not only to push Martin Odegaard but also when rotation is needed for the multiple competitions the club are aiming to win?

The answer to that appears for now not to be a yes. Therefore replacing them this summer with a central midfield upgrade is the preferred option and finding the players who complete the midfield trio of Declan Rice and the aforementioned Odegaard should be a priority.

There is also the scope to give more time to the teenage sensation Ethan Nwaneri who is currently impressing with England’s under-17s. The teenager has made a couple of Premier League appearances in the past two seasons and after signing a lucrative first professional contract, the expectation is he will get more time with the senior side.