‘He has many qualities’: Mikel Arteta opens up on new Arsenal signing

Mikel Arteta opens up on Arsenal's signing of defender Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille

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

Mikel Arteta is convinced that Gabriel Magalhaes will help to strengthen Arsenal’s leaky defence next season after he signed for the Gunners from Lille on Tuesday.

The Brazilian defender had been strongly linked with a move to The Emirates during August and the north London side finally got a deal over the line for the centre-half this week.

Gabriel, 22, has signed for the Gunners on a “long term” contract and will wear the number six shirt for Arsenal next season as the north Londoners look to try and challenge for a top-four finish.

The defender helped Lille to secure a fourth-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season and he will be hoping to be a regular fixture in the first team at The Emirates next season.

Arteta, who is currently preparing for his first full season in charge at Arsenal this term, believes that Gabriel has all of the necessary qualities to help the Gunners improve their back-line.

Speaking in an interview with Arsenal’s website after the deal was confirmed on Tuesday, Arteta said: “We welcome Gabriel to Arsenal.

“He has many qualities which will make us stronger as a defensive unit and as a team.

“He has proved with Lille that he is a defender with many outstanding attributes and we are looking forward to watching him grow as an Arsenal player.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal technical director Edu also reveals his delight at the Gunners having successfully completed a deal for the defender.

Edu said: “We are delighted to have signed Gabriel. He is a player we have been studying for a while and he was in demand from many clubs, so we are proud to have agreed and completed this transfer with Lille and the player.

“Gabriel is a player of high quality and Mikel and his coaches are looking forward to integrating him into the club.”

Arsenal will begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to newly-promoted Fulham later this month.

The Gunners are aiming to challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League this term after they finished in eighth place and won the FA Cup under Arteta last season.

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