Gabriel Magalhaes has admitted that it has “not been a perfect year” in his debut campaign with Arsenal but believes they are on the right track.
After joining Arsenal from Lille in the summer, Gabriel has been an important player for the Gunners. So far, he has made 26 appearances for the club and scored three goals. While it hasn’t been an outstanding season for the club, at least it seems their investment in the Brazilian is paying off.
Arsenal currently linger in ninth in the Premier League table. Unless they win the Europa League, their involvement in European football next season looks to be in doubt.
Hence, Gabriel knows his first year in England could have gone better. But on a personal level, he has already settled in and is ready to kick on.
“I can say that it’s not been a perfect year, because if it were a perfect year we would be at the top of the table,” Gabriel told ESPN Brasil (via Sport Witness). “But it’s been a year of great learning, because it’s my first in the Premier League.
“I’m very happy here. I already feel at home. Little by little I’m learning English.
“It’s been a learning season, which will certainly be marked for the rest of my life. There were moments of learning, sadness, but as I said, a season that will have that taste.
“We still have the Europa League, so we will do everything we can to reach the final, win this title.”
The future is still hopeful for Arsenal, especially with talented young players like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe establishing themselves.
For 2019 signing Nicolas Pepe things have been a bit more challenging but Gabriel – who played with Pepe at Lille – believes all three have big potential.
“We are a team that, in my eyes and those of many too, we have a very high quality team, of young players and you see how Bukayo is a revelation of the team. He’s a very young player who now plays for England.
“We have Pepe, Emile, who now also played again, so we have a very good team.”
Gabriel wants faith in Arteta
Should Arsenal not manage to qualify for Europe, questions may be asked of manager Mikel Arteta.
But Gabriel remains a supporter of his boss and thinks his teammates need to keep following his instructions.
“I think we have a lot of quality and if we put it in our head like we do, that Mikel asks – he’s a person who knows a lot about football, he’s a person who helps us a lot on a daily basis, so we get more in our head what he wants – I’m sure we will grow very tactically and physically because quality we have to spare.”