‘We’ve got a problem’ – Arteta confirms huge setback for Arsenal star as he hails ‘ruthless’ team-mate

Joe Williams
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta watches his side during a Premier League match.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Gunners midfielder Fabio Vieira will “be out for weeks” following surgery on a groin injury.

The Portugal international has had a number of injury issues since arriving at the Emirates Stadium from Porto in June 2022 in a deal worth a reported €40m.

He managed 22 Premier League appearances last term but 19 of those were from the substitutes’ bench, while he has made just two league starts this term as he struggles for a place in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.

And now the 23-year-old has had another setback in his chances of becoming a regular starter with Arteta confirming the Arsenal midfielder has had an operation on a groin issue.

Speaking ahead of the Gunners’ Champions League match against French side Lens on Wednesday night, Arteta said: “We’ve got a problem with him. He’s been having some discomfort.

“He wasn’t improving and we sent him to a specialist, the advice was to have an operation which we did yesterday. We expect him to be out for weeks now.”

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Bukayo Saka grabbed his fifth Premier League assist of the season on Saturday as Arsenal beat Brentford 1-0 to go top of the Premier League after Manchester City were held to a draw by Liverpool earlier in the day.

Saka has also been in great form in the Champions League with two goals and three assists in four group stage matches and Arteta will be hoping the England international can keep up that level of performance on Wednesday against Lens.

On Saka, the Arsenal boss added: “He’s got that ruthless mentality now to be the best that he can be every single day and to really be there on the pitch to affect games and win games for the team.

“It is impossible not to love Bukayo. You sit with him two minutes, you get to know him and you get shocked at what a special character and person he is.

“At the same time he is so humble, but he’s that person that sets the line there (high) and that’s enough, and that’s a big quality I think.”

Saka’s team-mate Leandro Trossard was also full of praise for the Arsenal academy graduate ahead of the Lens match, he said: “He has so much quality.

“He can make that one pass in the 18-yard box and you just need to be ready.”