Arsenal have finally (basically) signed Gabriel Magalhães. All is well.
Sure, while we’ve waited the great oceans have dried up. Birds have fallen from the sky. George R. R. Martin has released the latest Game of Thrones novel. Mikel Arteta is now bald. But hey, it’s happened! Kind of. Hurry up Arsenal.
OK, perhaps the Arteta bit isn’t going to happen, ever, but at least Arsenal fans can now rejoice as one of the most dragged on sagas of the transfer window is just an announcement video away from being completed. At last, a new centre-back has waltzed his way through the pearly gates – that’s the Emirates, by the way – yes, Gabriel Magalhães has entered the fray.
Some of us may be a tad sceptical about his arrival. Not for any reason other than that his fellow countryman and namesake, Gabriel Paulista, didn’t quite live up to his billing. This despite him looking like a ferociously intimidating human being nigh-on 99% of the time.
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Difficult to overlook, as well, is that Pascal Cygan joined Arsenal from Lille 18 years ago. He wasn’t, well……very good. At all.
Enough negativity, though. This time, genuinely, it appears as if the Gunners are getting their central defensive recruitment right. People are hanging on the words of a few Ligue 1 experts, since most of us have only seen Gabriel play in the Champions League when he was on the losing side to Chelsea twice in last season’s group stages, but the outlook is distinctly more positive.
In regards to recent transfer failings, let’s take a look at all eight central defenders who’ve been brought to north London since the OG Gabriel arrived in January 2015. Even better than that, let’s rank them. All £110m(ish) worth of them. Please, feel free to disagree wholeheartedly. You probably will anyway, even if it’s a pretty rotten selection.