The Premier League season is over, the transfer window is open and Arsenal are surely eyeing some early moves in the market as they look to shape their squad ahead of next season.
One area Mikel Arteta has already made clear he would like to strengthen is central defence. Injuries to Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi mean the trio are likely to miss the start of the season. Rob Holding and Sokratis are out of favour and that leaves error-prone David Luiz and the newly arriving William Saliba.
One player on the market this summer is the impressive Lille central defender Gabriel Magalhaes. The 22-year-old is physically strong, standing at 6ft 3’ and comfortable with the ball at his feet. As a left-footed central defender, he is comfortable playing as a left centre back, a position that has been problematic for Arsenal lately, with Sead Kolasinac shoehorned into the role most recently.
Lille have revealed that Gabriel could choose his new club as early as next week, before the French league restarts. The clubs owner told L’Equipe: “With Gabriel, we are talking and we’ve given him an exit pass. He will choose his club this week.”
There are a lot of reasons this transfer could be one that happens. Arsenal, of course, have the link with Lille following the transfer if Nicolas Pepe last summer. Edu, the club’s technical director, is also Brazilian and is likely to be aware of Gabriel. Arteta definitely wants a left-sided central defender and Gabriel is left-footed. He is also 22, a great age for an investment, and someone who has already proven his quality at a good level.
Gabriel is known for his ability in the tackle, his high concentration levels and his ability in aerial duels. These are all qualities that would be more than welcome in this Arsenal squad.