Arsenal have finally completed the £27 million signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille, and the defender has admitted that discussions with Mikel Arteta were decisive in his decision to move to the Emirates.
The Brazilian international enjoyed an impressive season with Ligue 1 side Lille last term and has been rewarded for his fine form in France with a move to the Premier League. The 22-year-old had been at the club since 2017, yet it was not until the 2019/20 campaign that the defender truly caught the attention of interested parties, having spent time out on loan in previous seasons.
Magalhaes finally sealed his £27m move on Tuesday after weeks of speculation and will be hoping to provide some much-needed stability to a defence that has been found wanting in recent seasons.
Arsenal supporters will no doubt be buoyed by the capture of the talented central defender, particularly with the player having been linked to Napoli, Everton and Man Utd in recent months.
Despite receiving ‘more lucrative offers’ from elsewhere, the player has revealed that he was swayed by the key figures at the North London club, including technical director Edu, and manager Mikel Arteta.
Gabriel Magalhaes compared to Arsenal's defenders in the 2019/20 Premier League season:
❍ 1st – interceptions (136)
❍ 1st – tackles (41)
❍ 1st – duels (224)
❍ 1st – duels won (150)
❍ 1st – aerials (128)
❍ 1st – aerial won (83)
❍ 3rd – recoveries (22)
The newest addition. pic.twitter.com/txSUoldZBL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 1, 2020
“[Edu and I] had several chats about Arsenal and the new project, we had many good conversations,” Gabriel told the club website. “As the days went by I was getting very excited about it, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring.
“Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot. That is the very reason I am here today.
“We did not talk about [details], he just told me he is aware of my quality, my capacity and how far I can go. He also said he will be very demanding with me.
“I know he is a great coach and I will make progress with his help.”
Gunners’ fans won’t have to wait long to see their new man in action, as they face newly-promoted Fulham in their opening game of the season on September 12.