By Noel Whelan

20th Jun, 2022 | 3:44pm

Arsenal can benefit from Fabio Vieira ability 'more important than goals' after deal agreed - pundit

Noel Whelan has claimed “impressive” Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira could help Arsenal finish in the top four next season.

Speaking to Football Insider, the ex-Leeds United striker heaped praise on the 22-year-old and drew particular attention to his assist record last year.

According to The Times‘ Gary Jacob (17 June), Arsenal have agreed a fee of £34 million with Porto for Vieira.

It is said that the midfielder is set to pen a five-year deal at the Emirates once a medical has been completed.

Vieira will be Arsenal’s third summer signing following deals for Marquinhos and Matt Turner.

When asked if the new signing would lead to regular players missing out on game time, Whelan told Football Insider:

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When you’re looking to build a team and you’re looking to be a regular top four team in the Premier League, you need options.

“Your players are going to be in the Europa League, you’ve got your League Cup, your FA Cup and an arduous, long Premier League season.

“You’ve got to keep people on their toes and I think another addition in midfield, somebody that can open doors is important.

“I mean 16 assists, that’s more important, to me, than the goals – that’s what midfield is all about. If you can chip in seven that’s an added bonus but the assist stat is the one that impresses me the most.

“That’s where you’re looking for a midfield player to compete, to dominate a midfield but more importantly, they’re the ones behind the strikes and if you can open up opportunities for those players as well that might push them from fifth place to fourth or third.”

In other news, Arsenal have been tipped to repeat William Saliba plan after £3m development