So we have ourselves another signing of the summer and, whilst it was the world’s worst kept secret that Gabriel Magalhaes was an Arsenal player, seeing him unveiled by fellow Brazilians David Luiz and Willian was still a fantastic way to bring the young defender in officially.
There are plenty of glossy videos that announce a new player and social media and comms teams from football clubs everywhere are coming up with creative ways to get the fans excited, but I loved the down to earth nature of the reveal by David Luiz and Willian. They talked about the Brazilian family growing bigger and then wouldn’t you know it, the big lad himself pops up on a Zoom call. Lovely stuff.
The chat they had was full of banter, camaraderie and fun too and for a guy who is now going to have to learn a new language, adapt to a new culture and live a life in London, it is perhaps heartening to know he’ll have a stable base of Brazilian Arsenal players who will be able to help him integrate.
And that will be important because he’s going into a position which can be quite unforgiving; just ask Luiz, Mustafi, or any of the Arsenal centre halves we’ve had in the last decade or so. Gabriel will need to get up to speed quickly and so having a bit of stability in players who can pass on messages in his native tongue. Having said that though, Mikel seems to be able to communicate with most players given his proficiency in languages, so I don’t suspect there will need to be too much concern about the player knowing exactly what his manager wants from him.
That’s been clear from all players at the club; they know what their role is and they all know the part they play. And Arteta and Edu all played a big part in this arrival it seems. Gabriel himself said on the call yesterday that it was the conversations he had with manager and Technical Director that played such a big part in the move and I can really believe that. He confirmed himself that he had a few offers and whilst we all thought we knew about Napoli, United, etc, you never really know about these situations until it all comes out in the wash after any deal has been done. But having secured an FA Cup and clearly having a clear vision and single mindedness about his approach to football, I definitely think Mikel Arteta is showing that he can be a draw for the players looking at the Premier League as an attractive destination to ply their football.
Let’s hope that this is just the start of what feels like exciting times right now.
I tell you one thing I love as well – proper football squad numbers for players. I don’t want to sound all “yer Da” here, but there was something very appealing to see our new absolute unit of a central defender wearing a number worn by centre halves like Tony Adams in the past. And with Saliba rocking the number four too, it feels very satisfying to know that the two big holes for the future of our back line have proper old school numbers they’ll be busting out next season, which is nice.
His arrival should surely also spell the end of Sokratis’ time at the club and with Holding supposedly on the verge of a loan deal to Newcastle, our defensive options are the two new lads, Pablo Mari, Luiz and Mustafi. Chambers returns in October I think, but now we’ve got players in I suspect there will be a feeling amongst the Arsenal powers that be, that he can be moved on for some cash.
I suspect that will be the focus now. Arsenal aren’t run by a sugar daddy and can’t just drop £25million for a centre half and not have to recoup the vast bulk of it. Not if Arteta is planning on expanding the options in midfield, which is sounds like he is, and not just through the re-signing of Ceballos on loan. Hopefully that is a deal that can be done quickly because we have a prior relationship with Madrid and the player himself and he’ll know exactly what is expected of him from the moment he sets foot back on the turf at London Colney.
That’s something Gabriel will now be looking forward to doing and if he has been isolating for a couple of weeks then hopefully we’ll see him in red and white a little sooner than some might expect too. There are supposedly some behind closed doors friendlies so I suspect he’ll certainly feature in those games as he starts to acclimatise to the new team he’s joined.
It’s an exciting transfer, it is one that has Arsenal fans buzzing, it also feels like it’s been done well with plenty of thought and clarity on what we need. He still needs to prove himself and we’ve seen plenty of signings coming for decent money and not making the grade, but hopefully the signs for this one are good.
Welcome Gabriel. I hope your Arsenal career is a long and successful one.
Catch you all tomorrow.