New Arsenal signing Gabriel discusses phone call with Mikel Arteta

Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes opens up on his transfer to Arsenal from Lille this summer

Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)

Gabriel Magalhaes has revealed how a phone call from Mikel Arteta helped to convince him that a move to Arsenal was right for him.

The Brazilian defender was officially confirmed as an Arsenal player on Tuesday after the Gunners agreed a deal to land the 22-year-old from Lille on a long-term contract.

Gabriel had been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal over the last few days but he had also been touted as a possible target for a number of other Premier League clubs.

Now, the defender has explained that having phone calls with Arsenal technical director Edu as well as manager Arteta played a key role in convincing him that a move to The Emirates was best for him.

Speaking in an interview quoted by the London Evening Standard, Gabriel said: “[Edu and I] had several chats about Arsenal and the new project, we had many good conversations,’ Gabriel told Arsenal Digital.

“As the days went by I was getting very excited about it, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring.

“Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot. That is the very reason I am here today.

“We did not talk about [details], he just told me he is aware of my quality, my capacity and how far I can go. He also said he will be very demanding with me.

“I know he is a great coach and I will make progress with his help.”

Gabriel played a key role in helping Lille to finish in fourth place in Ligue 1 last season.

He becomes the second defensive signing at Arsenal this season after the Gunners completed a deal to land William Saliba from Saint-Etienne last summer, with the young defender linking up with the Gunners ahead of next season after spending last season on loan back at Saint-Etienne.

Arsenal, who finished in eighth place in the Premier League and won the FA Cup last term, will take on Fulham in their opening top-flight fixture at Craven Cottage later this month.

The north London side have not won the Premier League since their famous unbeaten triumph in 2003-04.

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