High-flying Arsenal suffered a dip in their soaring season during the third round of the Carabao Cup, falling to 3-1 defeat against a dogged Brighton and Hove Albion.
The loss was just the third for the north London reds across all competitions this term, having previously slipped to Manchester United in the Premier League and PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League.
In fact, the Seagulls were the first opposition to triumph at the Emirates Stadium since the turn of the season, having recorded a monumental 2-1 win in their previous away match against the Gunners back in April.
Granted, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta fielded ten changes from the team that bested Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the weekend, but the players installed were expected to handle the pressure, with one player producing a flat performance, much to his chagrin.
As per SofaScore, the Portuguese teenager Fabio Vieira mustered a poor rating of 6.4/10, with his Spaniard boss withdrawing him from action after 72 minutes having offered little contribution of significance from his advanced playmaking role.
The rating, his joint-worst since joining the Gunners from FC Porto in a £34m deal, was deserved, with the 22-year-old failing his only attempted dribble, completing zero of three crosses and losing possession nine times.
GOAL correspondent Charles Watts consolidated the dissatisfaction towards the performance, tweeting that the Portuguese lightweight had “an absolute howler“.
He did maintain an assurance of sorts, completing an impressive 27/30 passes (90%), although he rarely attempted to instigate a meaningful forward transition and pitifully failed to make a single tackle, interception or clearance.
Having signed in a lucrative deal for a player of limited top-level experience, Vieira will need to demonstrate more assurance and composure against Premier League opposition, having impressed in the Europa League but still not trusted for a starring role in the domestic top-flight.
The ingredients are there for a compelling recipe, and should he fit the pieces of the jigsaw together Arsenal could have a leading playmaker on their hands for years to come.
As per FBref, Vieira ranks proudly within offensive and passing statistics amongst positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues, illustrating the worth of the player, and the flourishing career that tantalises around the corner.
Ranking in the top 3% for shot-creating actions, the top 2% for total shots, and the top 7% for progressive passes recorded, Vieira is a gem waiting to glisten in north London, and with time comes results; he will slowly unearth the full of his potential.
Indeed, Joe Cole waxed lyrical earlier this season for the player’s “velvet left foot” having served a scintillating drooping cross in the Europa League, but improvements will be needed to transfer his talents to regular Premier League action.
Eager to impress, Vieira will certainly be conscious of slipping down the pecking order should he not return with a bang in his next outing for Arteta’s side. He hit a bump in the road against Brighton, but he will be determined to not let it define his season, and aid Arsenal in the fight for glory.