After yet another contentious race for a signing with Napoli, Arsenal have seemingly prevailed once again, this time with Gabriel Magalhaes.
Gabriel Magalhaes is the player at the finish line this time around for the Gunners and and it looks like the Brazilian defender will be swapping Lille for London rather than Naples. Of course, nothing is confirmed as of yet, however various reports have stated (h/t Football.London) that the Reds of London have had a bid accepted and the player is keen on making the switch.
While the 22-year-old, left footed center back seems to have an abundance of talent and a high ceiling in terms of potential, gooners must be sure to manage their expectations and show the young defender patience upon his seemingly imminent arrival.
Like William Saliba, Magalhaes has supporters extremely excited. The weight of the pressure being placed upon each of their shoulders is excessive to say the least but it’s understandable from Arsenal fans. The club has not had a good defense in years and the signing of promising youngsters like Magalhaes makes supporters feel as though the club is moving in the right direction and looking for a sturdy defender that can stick around for the long-term future.
While Magalhaes looks the part and is the archetypal, modern day defender, patience must be awarded to the Brazilian. Similarly to Pablo Mari, Magalhaes has had an unconventional career path and this season has been his breakout one. The ball playing 6′ 3″ man has been loaned out twice from Lille to Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb. Both the French and Ukrainian side loaned the player to their second string side. Now, however, in his third year with the Lille after a transfer from Avai, he has established himself as a mainstay in the Lille infrastructure.
In all competitions, Magalhaes managed 34 appearances this season prior to lock down and in those showings he has attracted various European clubs.
The sample size for the player is very small and the young defender surely still has some kinks to work out of his game in some departments. At just 22-years-old, he is far from a veteran defender and Arsenal fans must understand that before he arrives. It’s all fine and dandy signing young players because they will be around for a few years at the very least, but at the same time, generally speaking, youngsters like Magalhaes need time to adapt and grow into the player in which they can be.
Both the already signed Saliba and the soon to be acquired, Magalhaes will need minutes under their belts, as well as time and patience from supporters if they are to reach their maximum potential. We want the defense to be solidified now, but signing rookies like the aforementioned pair is not a “right now” kind of fix, but instead one for the future.