Arsenal new-boy Gabriel Magalhaes has explained why he ended up at the Emirates Stadium this summer following his transfer from Lille being made official yesterday.
The Gunners have done well to land the young Brazilian, who looked a hugely impressive performer in Ligue 1 last season to attract plenty of interest this summer.
As well as having Arsenal come in for him, Corriere dello Sport also linked Gabriel with Manchester United and Napoli, but the player himself says Mikel Arteta made all the difference.
Speaking with Arsenal’s official site, Gabriel explained that he had already spoken with Gunners chief Edu, but that a personal call from Arteta is the reason he’s now in north London.
“[Edu and I] had several chats about Arsenal and the new project, we had many good conversations,” he said.
“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.”
AFC supporters will be delighted that their manager was able to help them strike this exciting deal, with Gabriel looking like having the potential to be one of the finest centre-backs in the game.
Man Utd are also short of top defenders and would surely also have benefited from bringing in the 22-year-old at the expense of one of their top four rivals.
Napoli will also surely feel they could have done with strengthening in that department after a difficult season last term, and they’ve often proven a good stepping stone club for talented young players like Gabriel.