Fabio Vieira has withdrawn from the Portugal squad for medical reasons just a few days before they face Georgia in the opening game of the Under-21 European Championships.
The Arsenal midfielder, who is captain of his country at the under-21 level, received his call-up last week but will now return to London for further assessment. He has been replaced in the squad by Benfica’s Diego Moreira.
The specifics of Vieira’s injury and the recovery period are unknown at this point but we hope it’s not serious.
A statement from the Portuguese FA reads: “The captain presents a medical condition that, after evaluation and follow-up by the FPF’s Health and Performance Unit (USP), it was decided not to make the athlete available for the Under-21 Euro. Since he returned from England, the midfielder has been monitored by USP, having fulfilled the stipulated recovery plan. However, his situation is not having the expected evolution so that he can participate in the competition”
Vieira was named the tournament’s best player when it was last held in 2021 and had been hoping to bank playing time after a frustrating second half of his debut season in England.
While he featured regularly in the cup competitions, he was restricted to three starts in the Premier League. That he arrived at the club with an injury that meant he missed pre-season was cited as one of the reasons for his struggles.
It would be a blow were the same thing happened this year.
Arsenal’s first team are due to return to training (in drips and drabs) in early July before heading to adidas’ headquarters in Germany. The Gunners then travel to the States for a trio of fixtures before returning to London to face Monaco in the Emirates Cup and Manchester City in the Community Shield.