Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has claimed that youngster Gabriel Magalhaes has a “great mentality” and that the recent signing brings a good balance to the side.
The 22-year-old completed a move to the Emirates Stadium at the beginning of September from Lille, where he had built a reputation as an exciting young defender.
He is a left-footed centre-back that is extremely comfortable in possession, has a wide range of passing, and is a physical presence in both penalty areas.
The Brazilian youngster has stared four of the opening five Premier League matches for the Gunners, plus he caught the eye in Thursday night’s 2-1 away win at Rapid Vienna in the Europa League group stages.
Arteta gave a positive verdict on Gabriel’s European performance last night and is impressed by his start to life in North London.
“I think we are much more balanced. The same with Gabi (Gabriel), the performance he had last night as well and what he brings to the team. We will see a team that is closer to what we are trying to do,” Arteta said, as quoted by the club’s official website.
“We saw qualities in him that is exactly what we wanted, but then you move him from France to here at an early age, without talking the language, to adapt to a new way of playing as well and he has done it really quickly and is showing a great mentality as well because we threw him in against Fulham after three or four training sessions and you could see the performance he had there.”
Arteta is still trying to work out the best make up of his defence this season, but Gabriel looks like he’ll be a part of it regardless of whether they go with a back three or a back four.
Gabriel looks like excellent value for money at £27million (Sky Sports), as clearly he’s a talent with a big future ahead of him but he also looks like he could do a job now to help improve the defence.
He’s got all the traits of a modern centre-back with his athleticism and power, which is why impressive signings like him mean the club have got to be pushing for a top-four finish in the league this season.