Vieira’s return to Arsenal is a timely reminder of Arteta’s big issue

You could argue that Arsenal have been doing the same ever since Vieira left the club in 2005 and the obvious conclusion is that the Frenchman is one of a kind and irreplaceable.

“He was very dominant,” said Arteta. “He was physically really gifted, technically too, he had the right temper, he was brave and he could score goals. He could do a bit of everything and he was remarkable.

“There have been some really good midfielders and Patrick was Patrick. There’s not going to be another one like him.”

Countless Arsenal players over the years have been dubbed ‘the new Patrick Vieira’, but none have lived up to the billing. Thomas Partey is the latest to be handed that title and, while his style differs from the Frenchman, he has a similar role to play under Arteta.

Crystal Palace tonight provides Arteta with another opportunity to find a solution by possibly playing Partey in a midfield-three alongside Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard.

The game is also a chance for Vieira to showcase his credentials as a manager. The Frenchman has been touted as a future boss of Arsenal one day and he has made a promising start to life at Crystal Palace.

Thomas Partey will be in the Arsenal midfield but Mikel Arteta must decide who to play alongside him

/ Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Vieira will undoubtedly get an excellent reception tonight and his name has already been sung at Emirates Stadium this season, after Palace beat Tottenham in the lunchtime kick-off before Arsenal took on Norwich.

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