Martin Keown gives verdict on 23-year-old who could be ‘the future’ of Arsenal team

Martin Keown endorses Arsenal's bid to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes

Martin Keown
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown (Photo: BT Sport)

Martin Keown says Gabriel Magalhaes will be “the future” of the Arsenal side if the Gunners complete a deal for the Lille defender.

The FA Cup holders have been heavily linked with a swoop to sign the Brazilian defender over the past few months as Mikel Arteta looks to improve his backline ahead of his second full season in charge.

The Gunners are thought to be competing with Everton, Manchester United and Italian side Napoli for the signing of the highly-rated Lille defender in the 2020 summer transfer window.

Reports in the British media last week suggested that the Gunners were leading the race to sign Magalhaes ahead of their Premier League rivals in what would represent quite the coup for Arteta.

Magalhaes will strengthen the Gunners defence alongside Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares who signed permanent deals with the north London side this summer as well as the return of William Saliba from his loan.

Former Arsenal defender Keown underlined Magalhaes’ potential impact on the Gunners team if Arteta can wrap up a deal to sign the 23-year-old defender this summer.

“I sincerely hope so (he signs) he’s really strong, quick, left-footed player,” Keown told BT Sport. “I saw him play against Chelsea for Lille last season I went out to watch him.

“Magnificent player, I think he’s the future. He sees danger and he’s a leader. He’s strong, powerful, I sincerely hope this tranfser does go thruogh and he becomes an Arsenal player.

“That will really secure them at the back whether it’s going to be a four or a three I think this lad can play in either system.”

Magalhaes has scored one goal in 52 games in all competitions over the past three seasons at Lille.

The Brazilian defender has established himself as a regular in the first team for the French side.

Arsenal beat Liverpool FC on penalties in the Community Shield on Saturday evening after Takumi Minamino cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener.

The Gunners have won the FA Cup and the Community Shield since Arteta’s appointment back in December.

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