Gabriel is trending in social media.
🎒 The moment Gabriel saw his Arsenal shirts for the very first time!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 1, 2020
Arsenal have signed a Gabriel from Brazil, and he has drawn a lot of interest among the football followers.
Now, there are quite a few prominent Brazilian Gabriels in the football world – Gabriel Jesus is in Manchester City, Gabriel Barbosa in Floamego, Gabriel Paulista is in Valencia, Gabriel Veron – the sensation of the Under-17 World Cup last year, is in Palmeiras, and has already become one of the most wanted by the big clubs in Europe and another Gabriel – Gabriel Martinelli is already shining in Arsenal.
Meanwhile, there is another French Gabriel named William Alain Andre Gabriel Saliba, who plays at the back.
Who could be the next Gabriel for the Gunners?
Five years ago, Arsene Wenger signed Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal and his sliding tackle on the goal-bound striker of Everton – Romelu Lukaku cleanly winning the ball and creating an Arsenal counterattack, which scripted a 2-0 win, is still talked about. But in 2017 Paulista moved to Valencia and until now, he is still playing in Spain.
LONDON IS RED ⚪️🔴🤩
— Gabriel Magalhaes (@biel_m04) September 1, 2020
Paulista is well settled in Spain and Mikel Arteta would not sign him, but Arteta is planning to rebuild the Gunners to carry on the momentum gained through winning the FA Cup and Community Shield.
Arteta knows very well to progress, a strong backline is needed.
Good morning, Gooners! 😎
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 2, 2020
Over the years, Arsenal have failed to defend set-pieces, win aerial duels, stop opponents from creating chances, and ultimately failing to defend the lead.
In the Premier League of 2019-20 season they have scored 32 times, but at the same time digested on 23 occasions, where defensive fragilities were evident.
David Luiz remains whimsical, while the likes of Sokratis and Kolasinac failed to live up to the expectations.
Arteta wants to fix the loopholes.
Gabriel Magalhães is solid
Small sample size at the top level but he has athleticism, robustness, aerial prowess and he’s comfortable on the ball
Him + Saliba + Tierney are the young building blocks of a seriously good defence (needs time to emerge though)
— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) September 1, 2020
So, he is working hard to inject solidity at the back: Saliba is already there, Tierney is showing a lot of promise, and the new Brazilian Gabriel: Gabriel dos Santos Magalhães has arrived from Lille on a five-year contract to strengthen the defence and potentially form a center-back partnership with Saliba that could remain intact for years to come.
The Gunners scouted both extensively and believe that they have landed two of the best young defenders in Europe.
Goal reported, “For Arsenal, the capture of Gabriel is a particularly big coup. They had to fight off serious interest from elsewhere and, at around £25 million ($33m); they have acquired him for what looks to be a very good price.”
The world is hardly aware of this new Gabriel, but in Ligue1 he has caught the attention of many, which led his inclusion in Arteta’s mission to bring back the glory days of the Gunners.
Gabriel was born in the Pirituba District of Sao Paulo.
Arsenal is 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/LHWcFIvWJe
— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) September 2, 2020
At the age of 13, Gabriel took a 12-hour bus ride to Florianopolis to begin his career at Avaí but returned to Sao Paulo after a week due to homesickness. However, Gabriel reconsidered his decision and returned to Avai after two weeks, eventually going on to earn his first professional contract at age 16.
He went on to be part of the team that won promotion to Brasileiro Serie A in 2017.
In 2017, Gabriel joined Lille.
After playing several matches for Lille B, he was loaned to fellow Ligue 1 side Troyes by then-head coach Marcelo Bielsa, before joining Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, where he made just one league appearance for each club’s senior team.
This is why Arsenal signed Gabriel Magalhães.
— Patron1s Comps (@Patron1s) September 1, 2020
Gabriel returned to Lille in 2018. He went on to make 14 appearances over the course of the season, scoring his first goal for Lille in a 5–1 win against Paris Saint-Germain in April 2019.
2019-20 was satisfactory for the six-feet-and-three-inches tall lad.
Gabriel began to play more regularly, forming a center-back partnership with Jose Fonte. Gabriel was a starter in all six of Lille’s Champions League group stage matches.
Lille manager Christophe Galtier said, “I saw he had great potential and he was able to seize the first opportunity he got. He was hungry to play, and while he bided his time, he worked a lot. He’s an example for other youngsters to follow. It’s a sort of intelligence to behave like that. How often nowadays do you see players not working if they’re not in the squad?”
Arsenal will be hugely benefited by @biel_m04 I hope @m8arteta has understood the importance of having Brazilians in the side. Arsenal are on the right track. Give them time to flourish. Have patience.
— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) September 1, 2020
And, for which, Arteta did not wait long enough to bring the tall and strongly built Brazilian under his wings.
Gabriel is a left-footed center-back.
He forms the backline by playing as a left-sided center-back.
He is tall but blessed with pace, which makes him a very versatile customer. According to Galtier, “He has a lot of character for a 22-year-old boy. Despite his ninety meters, he is super fast and covers his side well. He is the player who has won the most aerial duels in the first part of the season.”
🇧🇷 Gabriel Magalhães 🤝 William Saliba 🇫🇷
Arsenal could have a new centre-back partnership for a very, very long time 🙌 pic.twitter.com/TqGZMZGWqK
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 1, 2020
Gabriel is also known for his distribution ability – he can start the game from the back and provide productive passes upfront and trigger a counterattack under the given circumstances, by scripting a tackle against a goal-bound striker. Moreover, he is an impressive ball-winner and proactive in defence.
In the 2019–20 season, Gabriel had completed the most passes into the opposition half in all of Ligue 1.
According to his Lille teammate and mentor Jose Fonte, Gabriel “has to keep defending well by being aggressive, being well-positioned, and not taking risks”.
The fans of Arsenal can expect Gabriel to mature more under Arteta and prove himself as the vital cog at the back alongside Saliba.
The growth of Gabriel would be beneficial for Brazil as well.