Monday, June 17, 2024

Arteta reveals Vieira surgery, plus updates on White, Partey & Smith Rowe

Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Fabio Vieira has undergone an operation on his groin and won’t be available until the middle of January at the earliest.

Eagle-eyed reporters noticed that the Portuguese midfielder was absent from today’s pre-Lens training session and when pressed on the matter in his press conference the boss had this to say:

“We’ve got a problem with him. He’s been having some discomfort. We sent him to see a specialist and the advice was to have an operation in his groin. He did that yesterday. We don’t expect him back this side of the winter break.”

Having made a decent start to the season, including making three assists, Vieira hasn’t had much luck recently.

He was a late substitute in the 3-1 win over Burnley earlier in the month but picked up a straight red card for a clumsy and ugly challenge on Josh Brownhill late in the game.

Keen to keep his player fit knowing a three-match suspension loomed large, Arteta then asked Vieira to play for the under-21s against Reading. He started by scoring a penalty but missed a second spot-kick after the break as the Gunners went down 5-2 on the road. He’s not been seen since.

Fingers crossed the procedure goes without any complications. At least he doesn’t have to worry about being suspended for upcoming games with Wolves and Luton.

In other team news, Arteta has confirmed that Ben White will be available tomorrow night – “he’s available and he will be available and that’s very good news for us” – and he’s hinted that Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe could return to fitness before Arsenal’s winter break in early January.

Partey, who has only played 15 minutes of Premier League football since August, is struggling with a thigh problem while Smith Rowe, whose one and only league start came in October’s 5-0 win over Sheffield United, injured his knee in training.

“It is a possibility but it will depend how they evolve,” said Arteta on the pair.

“Emile has been already on the pitch doing some jogging so I don’t know, weeks, how long it’s going to take him. He’s a quick healer, Thomas is the same.

“They’ve all been pushing but we have to make sure that when they come back they are at their best as well. We don’t want to rush them but the team needs them because at the moment we are missing some key, key players as well.”

Having been open to a deal for Partey in the summer, speculation is rife that the Gunners could put the player on the market when the transfer window opens in January. Getting a deal done could be complicated, especially with the player expected to feature for his country in the African Cup of Nations.

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Really dislike the timing of AFCON.


Yea but its a massive deal for the players selected and rightly so.
I agree, it would be good if the Euro’s, AFCON, Copa America etc could all sync their calendars!


I am African and I will put it this way and hopefully clear it up for you and the rest, this is the best time to host the tournament on the continent. Other months especially your summer time in Europe are in line with the worst rains or heat depending on the geographical part of the continent. January/Feb has always been ideal and clubs in Europe know that as well. Fans need to and stop moaning


I am also African, and the problem is if clubs are choosing between two equal players, they would pick the non-African, because the African is gonna be missing for 10% of the season. So it’s bad for African’s opportunities.


Also, you’re talking about North and West Africa. The weather for football in Eastern And Southern Africa is better in July/August


I don’t get your point man, what heat and what rain? The conditions are more or less the same at any time of the year in Africa, CAF should really look at staging the tournament at a time players are off club duties, that’s just common sense

Bill Hall

We absolutely need a long term replacement for Thomas. As good as he is, he is so injury prone sadly!


We really just need a thigh replacement. If it wasn’t for that particular appendage he’d be fine.


Getting concerningly thin in the #8/#10 roles. Call me crazy, but I think Zinny could do a job further forward if needed…
He’s one of the most creative players we have. Let’s hope Ode stays fit and hits form tomorrow!


I feel like almost everyone has played in that left 8 role apart from Zinny. Kai, Declan, Leo recently, Emile, Jorgi, Fabio, Martin. To me, the left 8 is currently one of the biggest issues of that team and I can’t understand why Zinny wasn’t deployed there yet. I think it’s become clear that Rice is best as a 6, so if he’s not available to play the left 8, I would think that Alex is the best man for the job. Particularly given the development of Tomiyasu as an inverted left back. Having said that, I do understand that… Read more »


Thumb up for the last paragraph.


I understand why he’s reluctant to play Zinny there, Zinny is a unicorn and his role as an inverted LB is key to our possession game. Tomi is solid in possession, but not at that level. Maybe Timber being fit would allow Zinny to play the #8 more?


100% agree, only thing I’d add that while I do agree Rice is better as a 6 he’s still really really good as an 8, remember he scored the winner v. Utd from there after Jorginho came on and had a couple more great performances and assists there, so I don’t think you’re losing much of his effectiveness by putting him there. In fact of all the players we’ve tried there all season he’s been by far the best.

Would love to see him at the 6 alongside Zinny though.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Honda is usually very reliable.


“Call me crazy”? Haha hardly. Mainstream pundits haven’t caught on yet, but plenty of the Arsenal fanbase have been screaming that suggestion from the rooftops for the past few weeks. Feels mad that basically everyone’s been given a chance there but Zinny when you think of what a natural fit he could be there. Would love us to see if it’s something that works. Projecting way ahead here, but I’m picturing a scenario where we rock up at the mugsmashers with Tomi locking down the left side of our defense, Zinchenko pulling the strings from midfield, we come away with… Read more »


As good and technical as Zinny is he can’t press with the intensity needed to play the left 8 position, he can drift in and out of the position but the complete qualities needed for that position he lacks it, Arteta wants his midfielders bug and strong two qualities Zinny lacks, yes he’s technically gifted but that’s not all that’s required there more reason you will never see him play there except under another manager


It’s funny how some players are lauded for their versatility and play multiple positions for Arsenal (Rice, Jesus, White, Havertz, Trossard, Tomiyasu, Viera, etc.), but the one player in Zinchenko that is probably better suited for a different position and could really change how we play in attack (and plays a midfield role for his country) is never played there. It’s not like we don’t have a solid player that can play left back for him in Tomiyasu. Rice is so much more valuable to us at 6 being that link between the back line and midfield on both sides… Read more »


Great comments. Spot on, all of you. Maddening to not see Z given a chance at left 8. Arguably his most natural position on the whole pitch.


Kind of expect all three of them (esr, vieira, and partey) to be gone by the end of next summer, either on loan for development or sold, as none of the 3 are reliable at present.

Gervinho is Driving

We’ll be lucky if we can loan Partey for some of his wages. The dude is simply not available for selection. Afcon, relentless injuries, etc. Grateful for his services, he’s a fantastic footballer when firing, but the club needs to move on.


I really don’t see either Partey or ESR playing much of a role until January and with both it’s just a matter of time until they tweak the same injury or pick up something new with so little match time for both of them to build up their conditioning not to mention this is the time of year with some of the coldest and wettest weather and worse field conditions along with the volume of games which often leads to a higher volume of muscular injuries among players.


ESR is never off the treatment bed. Really hope he can get back to a decent run of fitness

A Different George

“He [Smith Rowe] is a quick healer, Thomas is the same.”

They’ve had plenty of practice, unfortunately.


“Arteta tells me that Smith Rowe and Partey could feature before the January break… but emphasis on the word could.”

I like that, so basically they might or might not feature before then. I’ve learned so much from that! In other news, humans could one day get their act together and stop killing each other and the planet… but emphasis on the word could.


Absolutely no chance we sell Partey in Jan unless we have a replacement lined up.




I remember that partey was lauded for never being injured
That is until he got to Arsenal
Boy has he made up for that


Simeone overplayed him and the miles are catching up. He needs to move on and find a less intense league some can hopefully play a bit more.

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