Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes will not leave the club this summer despite interest from multiple clubs.
The 25-year-old started each of the 38 league games last season as his team finished second behind Manchester City. He was a crucial part of Arteta’s defense alongside William Saliba.
The lack of minutes has raised question marks around Gabriel’s future. According to Football.London, Al-Ittihad have shown interest in the player while Real Madrid are also tracking his situation after Eder Militao’s knee injury.
But Arteta has clarified that the Brazilian centre-back will not be sold. He said at his pre-match press conference before the league game against Fulham, via the Express:
“There will be different relationships. Gabby will play a lot of games, I’m sure. It’s about bringing the competition high and trying to make the team play better, better, better and win more games. That’s the purpose of all of us.
“Of course I have explained to him why he’s not in the team- especially someone who has played a lot of minutes and games with us in the last year. I told him. He understands the reasons. Whether he agrees with it is something different….”
Apart from Gabriel, Saliba, Timber and White, Arteta also has Takehiro Tomiyasu, Rob Holding and Jakub Kiwior as his centre-back options.
Mikel Arteta still buzzing about Arsenal’s win against Crystal Palace
With 23 minutes plus added time remaining, Takehiro Tomiyasu was given his marching orders in Arsenal’s league game against Crystal Palace on 21 August.
The Gunners had a 1-0 lead to protect courtesy of Martin Odegaard’s penalty early on in the second half. Arsenal did not create a goal-scoring chance and conceded seven shots from the Eagles after going down to 10 men.
But they left Selhurst Park with all three points after a valiant display. Speaking before the game against Fulham later today (26 August), Arteta was once again asked to give his opinion on the win against Palace. He replied, via the club’s official website:
“Especially when you have to play over 30 minutes in those conditions [with 10 men], but we did it and the team showed an incredible hunger and resilience to win and react against difficult moments, and this is what we want. It was a really good game for us to learn something different.”
Arsenal are one of only three teams with a perfect record after two league games this season, along with Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion.