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Mikel Arteta praises Arsenal star Gabriel Magalhaes

By on February 10, 2024

Gabriel Magalhaes

Mikel Arteta, via the Arsenal website, has praised Gabriel Magalhaes’ growth since his £27 million signing from Lille in 2020.

The Brazilian was recently named Arsenal’s player of the month for January following his outstanding performances. He has also been nominated for the Premier League Player of the Month.

In two league games (versus Crystal Palace and then Nottingham Forest) in January, he helped the Gunners keep a clean sheet and concede only one goal, and he scored two of the Gunners’ seven goals. The 26-year-old’s selection as best player of the month (his fourth at Arsenal) is particularly pleasing given how transformed he is now.

Last summer, he was heavily linked with a move away; Football London stated that Real Madrid, Juventus, and Al-Ittihad were interested in signing him. That being said, he did not leave, though Mikel Arteta, particularly in the first three league games of the season while the transfer market was still open, was hesitant to give him game time, which could have led to him pushing for an exit.

Gabriel was re-introduced to the starting lineup on Match Day 4 once the market was closed and he helped Arsenal defeat Manchester United 3-1. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength. He frequently slips under the radar in terms of performance credit, for which he’s been unjustly underappreciated at times this season, despite consistently performing at a high level.

Fortunately, Arteta is appreciative of his Brazilian centre-back’s development, noting the defender’s desire to be a better version of himself.

What has Arteta said about Gabriel?

“A lot of things have happened to him,” said Arteta.

“His role in the team has grown. His personal life is also very different to the one he had before with his family and his language.

“He also changed a lot of things in his life and improved his mentality. He can decide what he wants to be, and I think he made the right call to take the direction he took.”

Bottom line Gabriel Magalhaes has been incredibly consistent for Arsenal this season. He has developed into a key player in Arteta’s team and he should be one of the first names on the team sheet.

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