The last time Arsenal signed a Brazilian centre-back called Gabriel was five years ago – Gabriel Paulista, who now plays for Valencia. That signing didn’t really work out, so the Gunners are trying again.
Signed from Lille on a five-year contract, Gabriel 2.0 (aka Gabriel dos Santos Magalhoes) looks a better bet. He ticks a lot of boxes for Arsenal in a position where they desperately need to improve. He’s tall (6ft 3in), athletic, left-footer, strong in the air, and just 22 years old.
It’s a coup for Arsenal, and especially their technical director, Edu – the Brazilian played a key role in getting this deal over the line, as he did with their successful move for Willian. Just another example of a big club using a former player in a quasi-ambassadorial role to help attract players.
Watch Gabriel’s first interview as an Arsenal player: