Wednesday 14 August 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Manager Arsene Wenger made his first, and one of his most important signings at Arsenal, when he brought midfielder Patrick Vieira to Highbury from AC Milan.
Although Wenger had yet to take charge of a match, he identified the rangy Frenchman as the player to build his new side around. Vieira did not disappoint.
He became one of the most influential and dominant midfielders of the Premier League era, his drive and ability to quickly turn defence into attack a cornerstone of Wenger's counter-attacking philosophy.
Vieira was an imposing figure in the centre of the pitch and he was equally as adept at breaking up play as he was at going forward. He won the Double in 1997/98 and was appointed club captain when Tony Adams retired in 2002.
Vieira made a total of 279 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 28 goals, including the final and decisive goal of Arsenal's 'Invicible' season in 2003/04. During his time with Arsenal he won a total of three Barclays Premier League titles and four FA Cups.
He left Arsenal in 2005 for Juventus and after four years at Inter Milan, he returned to England in 2010 with Manchester City. He is still at City as head of the club's elite development squad.