Arsenal’s transfer team completed the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille to north London in the summer transfer window. It is proving to be the best bit of business Arsenal have done, in unprecedented times during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Brazilian centre back was Napoli bound before Arsenal reached out to the player’s representatives and has ended up with The Gunners as a fans favourite at the Emirates.
Against Olympiacos on Thursday night, albeit against a weakened Olympiacos side, Gabriel justified being started over Pablo Mari; a decision Mikel Arteta was questioned for by fans on Twitter pre-match.
It is easy to forget in the midsts of the Brazilian’s careless coronavirus controversy that Gabriel won the first three Arsenal player of the month awards in September, October and November and with good reason too!
The 23-year-old has proven to be the bargain of the summer for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal with yet another man of the match display in Athens against Olympiacos.
According to football.london Arsenal correspondent, Chris Wheatley, Gabriel’s stats were as follows:
On BT Sport, Martin Keown praised Gabriel as a “proper, old-fashioned centre half”.
Spending £4m on Pablo Mari’s transfer from Flamengo in Brazil and £25m on Gabriel’s transfer from Lille in France is a rare occurrence of Arsenal Football Club spending money wisely.
Considering the price margins between the two, maybe it was not a headache Mikel Arteta expected to have when it came to his selections but it is certainly a tactical migraine that the Arsenal manager will appreciate.
From Sokratis and Mustafi being called “uncoachable” by Gary Neville last season on Sky Sports to having to pick between four in-form defenders which include: Gabriel Magalhaes, Pablo Mari, David Luiz and Rob Holding it is certainly a welcoming transition for Arteta’s Arsenal.
It will be interesting to see which centre back partnership Mikel Arteta opts for ahead of the north London derby on Sunday but no decision will be an unjustified one based on consistent past performances in recent games from all four.
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