Gabriel Magalhaes has taken to Arsenal like a duck to water.
A side ravaged with issues on the front line are being kept held upright by the strength of the fort. At the quarterly stage of the season, Arsenal are facing roles reversed with their knack of scoring goals and leaking them in equal measures turned on its head.
Sturdier at the back and blunter in the front, why and how Arsenal have become a better defensive side boils down to a few elements, but key in that alteration has been summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes.
Nothing short of brilliant since entering the fray, it’s little wonder he’s been the fans’ favourite, winning the Player of the Month award on both occasions this season. His score card will, without doubt, read well.
Elaborating on that, it’s hard to pick fault at the start to life Gabriel has made. He brings a physicality to the previously weak defence, an astute passing range and aerial prowess, and not to mention, a left foot!
All of this while not speaking a word of English. Bringing steel to a frail Arsenal spine, how effortlessly he’s adapted to the side is credit to his own determination, and the £23m spent to take him to the Premier League looks like daylight robbery.
Aston Villa, unfortunately, sticks out like a sore thumb, but we shouldn’t be too hard on him for that performance since everyone was guilty of an abject day at the office.
The areas he needs to improve upon are majorly facets that will be fine-tuned over time as he accustoms himself to the league and philosophy.
Honestly, he’s done little wrong bar a few shaky moments of losing his man in turnovers. Again, they’re teething issues that are to be expected.
Best Moment – Old Trafford Triumph
Just as with Rob Holding, his best outing came against Manchester United away from home. A colossus in the heart of the defence, you’d have been forgiven for forgetting that Marcus Rashford and his fellow forwards were even playing.
That’s one of many excellent displays and there is no doubting whatsoever that more will follow.
Gabriel is going to be among the best in Europe. He’s already the best at the club.
Gabriel’s Arsenal Rating