Cedric Soares believes new Arsenal signing Fabio Vieira can make up for his lack of physicality by utilising his football intelligence in order to thrive in the Premier League.
The Gunners moved swiftly earlier this summer to complete the £34million transfer of the versatile Portugal Under-21 international midfielder.
Vieira has been forced to sit out the first three matches of Arsenal’s pre-season programme after he arrived at the club carry an ankle injury he picked up on international duty.
The 21-year-old returned to first team training earlier this week, however, and could be in contention to feature against Chelsea this weekend.
While his talent is undoubted, his slight frame has raised concerns that Vieira could struggle to cope with the rough and tumble of the Premier League.
Vieira’s Portuguese compatriot Cedric, however, has been impressed with what he has seen so far from his new teammate and is confident he can thrive in a new environment.
He told ESPN: ‘He has a similar mentality to me, which is great to see,’ Cedric said. “I’m helping him to settle. Fabio is a very intelligent player from what I saw in Portugal.
‘I never played with him but from what I saw, analysing games and watching his performances, he had a really good season.
‘He has fantastic quality. He is a technical player with quality and ability. He has a lot of vision for the last pass as well. This quality that you look a lot for in the players, I think Fabio has got it. I am sure he will adapt quick, he is intelligent you know?
‘When you are not physically the strongest, you need to be smart in the Premier League. I am sure he will adapt very well to the Premier League, I have no doubts. [The physicality of English football] is a big change, but me personally, I adapted quite well and I am not the tallest.
‘With Fabio, first of all he has big courage to play. That one for me is a quality. Second one, I see him as a very intelligent player.
‘Of course he is very young still, so I am sure he will grow in years in the Premier League. What is intense for him is maybe the rhythm of the Premier League will be much quicker than the rhythm of the league in Portugal.
‘This is something he will have time to adapt, but you can’t change it.’
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