Emile Smith Rowe says he’s well aware of the qualities that Fabio Vieira will bring to Arsenal having played against the midfielder when England’s under-21s were beaten by their Portuguese counterparts at last summer’s European Championships.
Vieira was his country’s top scorer in qualification and went on to be named the tournament’s best player as Portugal won all their group games – including a 2-0 victory over the Young Lions – before beating Italy and Spain on route to the final. They were eventually defeated 1-0 in the final by Germany.
Vieira’s exploits in Slovakia set him up for an impressive season with Porto which ultimately earned him a €40 million move to Emirates Stadium.
While the 22-year-old is yet to make his debut in pre-season due to a foot injury, Smith Rowe says comparisons with compatriot Bernardo Silva, who plays his football at Manchester City, are bang on.
“He’s very similar [to Silva],” Smith Rowe told the Evening Standard.
“He’s a very good passer of the ball, his left foot is very good and he likes to create goals and score them himself.
“I’ve already played against him at international level, so I can’t speak highly enough of him, and the fans should be really excited. At the Euro Under-21s, they [Portugal] beat us 2-0 and he was unbelievable in that game.”
Smith Rowe has also been impressed by the quick integration of Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian already has three goals to his name in pre-season.
“He’s been fantastic since he came in,” said Smith Rowe.
“It feels like he’s been here for a couple of years. Everyone knows how good he is and we can’t wait to get started with him.
“Man City are a big club and they’ve won a lot recently. It would be good if he could bring that [winning] mentality and help us out.”