Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta’s experiments while out on their pre-season tour of the United States of America has given two players a brand new lease of life
Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the United States was a success and has played a vital role in deciding Mikel Arteta’s transfer priorities for the rest of the window.
The Gunners’ boss was experimental in his tactical decisions in the three friendlies as he integrated new signings Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz, while also playing the likes of Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior in positions we had yet to see.
We also got the chance to see some of the players who have been on the fringes of the first team and possibly even heading towards the exit door, get a chance to play some first-team minutes and show their intentions moving forwards.
Kieran Tierney has been one of the most popular signings in recent seasons but his place in the Arsenal first-team has now been all-but taken by Oleksandr Zinchenko. Multiple reports have linked the Scot with a transfer to the likes of Newcastle United and Aston Villa.
But the Scotland international has looked every bit the committed Arsenal player on the US tour and looks increasingly likely to remain at the club going into next season.
His second-half performance in the 5-3 win over Barcelona was not that of a wantaway star, while his demeanour and link-up with his team-mates proved there is still a big role for the former Celtic man to play, especially as Arteta now conjures up news shapes and tactics to deploy his ever-evolving squad.
The lesser-seen Fabio Vieira also showed his quality during his substitute appearance as Arsenal defeated Barcelona in Los Angeles.
With the scoreline poised at 4-3, Vieira netted a stunning long-range effort to secure the win and remind everyone what kind of talent he possesses. It was the perfect cameo from the Portuguese Under-21 international who arrived under much fanfare in a £34million transfer last season, but had been spotted receiving criticism from Gunners boss Mikel Arteta during a training session earlier this summer.
That criticism coupled with his underwhelming debut season at the Emirates Stadium led to many reports suggesting he has failed down the pecking order and could even be set for a loan spell before being considered for a key first-team role.
Vieira also, unfortunately, suffered an injury this summer which saw him miss out on Portugal’s Under-21 European Championship campaign, with fears it could also hamper his pre-season with Arsenal and therefore have a detrimental effect on his chances to force himself into Arteta’s plans.
Those fears seem allayed now and Arteta will be wanting to keep Vieira around to develop at London Colney with Arsenal also facing the prospect of extra fixtures with the return to the Champions League.
Before Arsenal embarked on their tour of the US, Vieira and Tierney would have been high on the list of likely Arsenal departures this summer, whether on loan or a permanent deal, but three games later and Mikel Arteta’s perspective on the pair may have shifted significantly.