Premier League • England

Gabriel Magalhaes latest: Mikel Arteta hails new deal and cites one Arsenal player who will benefit the most

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes

Mikel Arteta feels the connection between Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba augers well for Arsenal after the Brazilian signed a new long-term deal.

Recent reports had suggested that Gabriel, 24, might be looking to leave the Emirates at the end of the season. The Gunners had been linked to Eintracht Frankfurt star Evan N’Dicka as a possible replacement. However, he has now pledged his future to the north Londoners and looks to continue at the heart of defence.

The Sao Paulo-born stopper has made 83 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal since his debut in September 2020. And he was clearly delighted to extend his stay with the Premier League table-toppers.

“I’m very happy to sign this new contract with Arsenal, because it’s such a big club,” he old the club’s official website. “It’s my dream and today is the best day of my life.

“I’m so happy to extend my contract here. Every game the supporters are pushing the team in the stadium.

“It’s why I’m so happy to stay here. Arsenal is my home.”

Italian giants Juventus have been strongly linked with a move for the South American.

He had been valued at around £40m but that is of litttle consequence now after agreeing fresh terms at the club.

Gabriel pushing team-mate to greater heights

Arteta has put his faith in Gabriel this term. The former Lille ace has played every minute of Arsenal’s ten top-flight games, helping them to the top of the table.

Arteta’s charges have won nine of their league contests and are four points clear of Manchester City.

It is open to question as to whether they can maintain that pace. Many pundits feel they will fade as the campaign progresses but it has been an encouraging beginning by the Gunners.

Arteta has been praised for the way he has managed the team. The Spanish tactician was delighted to see Gabriel put pen to paper.

And he feels the former Brazil Under-23 star and Saliba will spark off each other to become a formidable duo at the back.

“A winning team needs to have a spine of the team that is tremendously consistent and play at a really high level, keep clean sheets and we are doing that a lot,” he told reporters.

“When we look at a central defender we look at partnerships.

“I think Gabby has made William a better player and I think Willy helps Gabby to be the same – there is a strong chemistry there.

“You can sense it and the way they communicate with each other and play for each other. It is really positive and what you want.”

Arteta plays down Gabriel mistakes

Gabriel has made a couple of high-profile errors in 2022-2023. However, Arteta believes it is all part and parcel of being a top-class defender.

“If you look at some of the goals we have conceded there have been some individual errors in some of them but they have been shared,” he added.

“We have to accept that when you have young players in those positions, this is going to happen and that is the bill.”

Arsenal just missed out on the top four last season and had to settle for the Europa League. Their form tailed off right at the death, allowing rivals Tottenham to qualify for the Champions League.

There is clearly a determination to put that right this time around. And Gabriel is eager to help take the club to the next level and put silverware in the cabinet.

“In the future, I want to win games for Arsenal, I want to win trophies with Arsenal and stay here for a long time because it’s my home,” he added.

Arsenal are next in action on Sunday when they travel to the south coast to take on Southampton.

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