Gabriel Magalhaes has reassured Arsenal fans that his injury is “nothing serious” after being ruled out of the Brazil squad for the Olympics.
After his first season in English football, the centre-back was hoping to represent his country at this summer’s Olympics. His plans may have affected how Arsenal approached pre-season in terms of the defensive options available to him. Gabriel would likely have missed most of the preparations for the new campaign.
He still might after picking up an injury, but will be available to Arsenal as soon as he recovers, rather than heading off to Tokyo.
The 23-year-old is suffering with tendonitis in his knee, with the extent not becoming clear until he suggested the problem is minor.
“Unfortunately I won’t be able to fulfil my dream due to an injury, nothing serious,” Gabriel posted on Instagram.
“I will not be able to defend my country’s colours at the Olympics.
“I will be, from a distance, rooting for the national team and for my team-mates. God knows everything.”
An estimated recovery time is still lacking, but Gabriel’s comments appear to be good news for Arsenal in the long term.
The Gunners are currently preparing for an important summer after missing out on European qualification. They need to reinforce all areas of their squad, including in defence.
Gabriel made 32 appearances in all competitions last season. Of his fellow centre-backs, only Rob Holding featured on more occasions.
After the departure of David Luiz, Arsenal need to find new competition at the back. Depending on the severity of Gabriel’s injury, their plans to sign a new centre-back may accelerate.
The Premier League season is due to commence on August 13th, when Arsenal will visit Brentford. Gabriel would likely have missed that date if he was at the Olympics, which conclude shortly before.
It remains to be seen if he will be available for that opener or if the club will sign someone else before then, as they need depth regardless.
Arsenal raise White bid
One defender heavily linked with Arsenal in recent weeks has been Brighton’s Ben White.
The Gunners are already believed to have tabled bids in the regions of £40m and £45m for the 23-year-old, who is currently on international duty with Euro 2020 semi-finalists England.
However, they face strong competition from Premier League rivals to get their man – with Chelsea the latest to show an interest.
According to Sky Sports News, Arsenal are still optimistic that they can win the race for White’s signature. To that end, they will launch a £50million improved offer for the defender soon.
The report adds that Seagulls owner Tony Bloom is happy to sell player, but only at the right price.
White is widely regarded as one the best centre-back prospects in England. His versatility to also play in a defensive midfield role only adds to his soaring value.