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BBC Sport pundit gives verdict on 22-year-old Arsenal signing

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta (Photo: YouTube)

Garth Crooks has heaped praise on new Arsenal signing Gabriel Magalhaes for his “commanding” performance in Mikel Arteta’s defence during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Fulham.

The Gunners signed Gabriel in a £22m deal from Ligue 1 side Lille last month to win the race to sign the highly-rated Brazilian defender ahead of the new Premier League season.

Arteta didn’t hesitate to introduce Gabriel to his starting XI and the 22-year-old produced a composed performance alongside English defender Rob Holding.

The summer signing opened his account for the north London side with a header in the 49th minute to help Arteta’s side secure a commanding 3-0 win over London rivals Fulham.

The Gunners defender became just the 10th Arsenal player to score on his Premier League debut, while Gabriel helped the north London side to keep a clean sheet.

Former Spurs striker and BBC Sport pundit Crooks was impressed by Gabriel’s assuredness and measured passing in Arsenal’s opening day win at Craven Cottage.

“I thought Arsenal’s first-half performance at Fulham was impressive, especially the contribution of Kieran Tierney. However, it was Gabriel who caught my eye,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“The 22-year-old Brazilian looked commanding at the back and comfortable on the ball. Arsenal seem to benefit from the inspired additions of Gabriel and Willian to the set-up – and they suddenly look a team with options.

“Fulham, meanwhile, appear hesitant and lacking in quality, particularly in the last third. Unless they can get Aleksandar Mitrovic fit and scoring goals, I think the writing might be on the wall already.”

Gabriel moved to Arsenal in spite of reported interest from Manchester United in the 2020 summer transfer window.

The Brazilian defender spent three seasons in the Lille first-team before Gabriel completed his switch to Arsenal.

The Gunners are sitting at the top of the Premier League table after the opening round of fixtures thanks to their commanding win over Fulham.

Arsenal will take on West Ham United in the Premier League in north London on Saturday before the Gunners host defending champions Liverpool FC at The Emirates at the end of the month.

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Source: Sport Review