Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal signing has been impressing him
Mikel Arteta explains why he's been so impressed by Gabriel Magalhaes' start to life as an Arsenal player
Mikel Arteta has admitted that he has been left impressed by Gabriel Magalhaes’ start to life as an Arsenal player after he helped the Gunners to claim a 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.
The Brazilian defender signed for the Gunners from French side Lille in a €30m deal at the start of September and he has made a promising start to life as an Arsenal player.
Gabriel has started three of Arsenal’s four games in the Premier League this season and he scored his first goal for the Gunners when he helped them notch up a 3-0 win over Fulham on the opening weekend of the campaign.
The 22-year-old defender also produced a solid performance at The Emirates on Sunday afternoon as he helped Arsenal to claim a 2-1 victory over the Blades and wrap up their third Premier League win of the season.
Gabriel has been an Arsenal player for a little more than a month, but Arteta has been delighted by the way the defender has been settling into life as a Gunners star.
Arteta said of Gabriel’s start to life at Arsenal: “I am very impressed because I’ve always said that in this league, in this country, one of the most difficult positions to play is as a centre-back because you get challenged and exposed many times and tested many many times.
“I saw from the first day, he has a lot of personality, he has big courage to play and he’s not impressed by anything.
“He’s very secure, very stable mentally as well throughout the game and I think he has the physical and technical attributes to adapt really well to the league.
“That’s why we signed him, but credit to him because to do it in this short space of time, I think that’s a big thing.”
Arteta continued: “I think for him to be stable, for him to perform, he needs the right structure around him and the right organisation.
“I think we are getting much better at that. I am seeing a lot defenders involved saying it’s something we had to improve.
“Yes, it’s made us a more solid team. As you can see he doesn’t get exposed in many open spaces. This is more about the function and the structure of the team and that’s going to help them.
“The better our process is with the ball, the better we progress into the final third, [the better] we’re going to help our strikers so the defence is the same.”
Gabriel will be hoping to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners return to Premier League action with a testing trip to face Manchester City after the international break.
The north London side are aiming to try and finish in the top four this season after they ended up eighth in the table last term.