Deadline day can be one heck of a ride.
That initial moment when you wake up can either be a rollercoaster of unmerited anticipation, or a debilitating feeling of dread. With Arsenal, you never know what you’re getting.
Some teams, like Newcastle, did their business nice and early this summer. Smart moves for experienced players. Integration becomes far smoother, and the results arrive sooner.
For Arsenal, they’ve left all their big movements until the final few days, as is customary with so many clubs these days.
Or have they?
While we all get caught up in not just our own transfer talk, the business already concluded this summer has been making inroads: Gabriel Magalhães.
Our beastly Brazilian has not been forgotten about, but instead had the limelight taken off him so soon after arriving in north London simply because he’s been so darn brilliant.
Endless talk about Houssem Aouar this, Thomas Partey that and William Saliba not playing, has meant Gabriel has been able to go about his own business without the watchful eye of the media. Were he to have come in and dropped a few clangers in the early stages then the spotlight would’ve never left his presence, but he’s been nothing short of superb in just four short outings.
How quickly the centre-half has integrated into Mikel Arteta’s philosophy and settled into the pace of the Premier League is remarkable for someone whose only grasp of the English language came from the floods of ‘OMFG PLEASE SIGN FOR ARSENAL’ messages he was swamped with on social media.
Gabriel has been a revelation at the back, the one offering the calming presence instead of the expected narrative of David Luiz being his soothing mentor. While the 33-year-old has unquestionably played a starring role in bedding him into the environment, his performances on the pitch is all down to his own attentive application.
Having the right attitude helps, but he isn’t all bark and no bite. Commanding in the air, unflustered in possession and progressive in his distribution, one wonders what he’s capable of when he eventually learns English.
Sorting out the defence was paramount before the window started, and while there are other areas of the pitch where Arsenal are short, they must be credited for securing the right player this summer.