Mikel Arteta fires Fabio Vieira message as Kai Havertz decision vindicated in Arsenal win
Fabio Vieira was handed his first Arsenal start of the Premier League season after Mikel Arteta opted to play the Portuguese midfielder ahead of Kai Havertz
Mikel Arteta was impressed with Fabio Vieira's performance in Arsenal's 1-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park. The Gunners boss handed Vieira his first start of the season with Kai Havertz dropped to the substitutes bench.
The Germany international has struggled to adapt to a new role after completing a £65million move to the Emirates Stadium this summer. Havertz has failed to register a single goal contribution in his opening five appearances for Arsenal - whilst Vieira registered two assists in cameo roles against Fulham and Manchester United before the international break.
Speaking after the 3-1 win against Manchester United, Arteta highlighted the change in Vieira's performances this season which saw him handed a start against Everton. The Arsenal boss said: "Every player has a chance to do that, today we decided to start with Kai [Havertz].
"We knew that Fabio [Vieira] would have a big impact especially in the last few minutes, or final minutes if we needed something and something has changed with Fabio. You notice with the crowd when he steps in he is different to how he was last year, he’s more mature, he’s more senior in the squad and his confidence in the squad is high. I’m really happy to have those options."
Now, Arteta has doubled down on his stance regarding rotating his squad after Vieira's performance against the Toffees vindicated the decision to drop Havertz. Speaking to Sky Sports after Arsenal's 1-0 win against Everton, Arteta said: "What I want is that the players I select to play, they deserve to play.
"Fabio [Vieira] deserved to play. He’s been knocking on the door for a few weeks now and you can tell that he was ready.
"He had some great actions and contributed in things other than the goal. That’s exactly what we need from everybody."