Just before the Premier League came to a halt in November, Mikel Arteta was asked about the form of summer signing Fabio Vieira.
After a bright start to life at Arsenal, the £30 million addition from Porto had suffered a dip in performances, with some beginning to question whether he was ready to make an impact in north London.
But Arteta was quick to defend the playmaker and pointed towards the training camp in Dubai as being a crucial moment for the 22-year-old.
“He missed a big part because he was injured and didn’t have any pre-season,” the Arsenal boss said. ”I think that period in the World Cup is going to make him very good.”
Vieira was on international duty with Portugal Under-21s recently, so arrived back at London a bit later than everyone else, but he did fly out to Dubai with the squad on Sunday and is training as normal.
And there is no doubt he will look to use this time away to make a real impact and show that he has a big part to play during the second half of the season.
A lack of pre-season in the summer did leave him at a major disadvantage, so this training camp could be massively beneficial to a young player who is still looking to really find his way at his new club.
Arteta could use him out wide in both Dubai Super Cup games, or he could use him in the Granit Xhaka-role alongside Martin Odegaard in the midfield.
Whatever the manager opts for, Vieira will have two big opportunities to impress over the course of the next week.