Saturday, February 24, 2024

Gunners linked with Lille defender Gabriel Magalhães

According to a report in French publication France Bleu, Arsenal are showing interest in Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhães.

The 22-year-old centre-back has been on Napoli’s radar for quite some time and Manchester United and Everton have also been linked.

L’Equipe reported earlier this week that all three clubs plus two others, one of which could be PSG, had submitted bids for the player who is valued in the region of €30 million.

It’s since been suggested that Napoli, who’ve just bought Victor Osimhen from Lille, are getting cold feet while United have opted to recall Chris Smalling from his loan at AS Roma; the suggestion being that they may focus their funds on recruiting Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

A Brazil under-20 international, Gabriel moved to Lille from homeland side Avai for €3 million in 2017 and has since spent time out on loan with Ligue 2 side Troyes and Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb.

He has been a regular in the Lille first team since the midway point of the 2018/19 season when he and Pepe helped the club to a second-place finish behind PSG.

This term, he featured 24 times in Ligue 1 before its suspension and also featured in all six of the club’s Champions League group stage matches.

Lille’s president, Gerard Lopez, believes the player is destined for the top.

“I feel he is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now,” he said recently.

“His statistics, which aren’t well covered outside of France, shows that his percentage for winning duels is pretty unheard of in a league that’s extremely physical.

“He’s an absolute machine, so to me, he’s well on his way – if not this year – to potentially a really big club. I’m certain he’s on his way to the Brazilian national team at some point.

“He’s been linked to two clubs in the UK and he’s clearly been linked to other clubs that have either enquired or moved forward with proposals for him, but we’re not in a hurry and we’re not playing right now. The player isn’t on the pitch.”

It remains to be seen whether we are indeed interested in recruiting another centre-back. We’ve got so many on the books at the moment that we’d definitely have to get rid of at least two to make room for Gabriel and that would suggest the futures of Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Sokratis and Mustafi are potentially in doubt.

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Essex Gooner

It’s all very well being linked to all these players, surely we need to move players on first? (Obscene wage bill)

Crash Fistfight

Also, it’s all good and well saying Holding or Chambers could be sold, but we have very few homegrown players these days.

PS – Does Emi Martinez count as homegrown?

Cape Town Gooner

Emi Martinez is home grown (he arrived at 17 years old and the rule is 3 years before your 21st birthday or somethign like that).

We’re actually OK on that count anyway though. At this stage we have 17 non home grown players on our books (which is the maximum that can be registered) but that includes Elneny & Mkhi who are pretty much guaranteed to leave, as well as Ozil, Papa, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Cellabos & Lacazette, who I doubt will all be included in the squad for next year.

Eddy F

According to football manager he becomes homegrown just after the season starts in 2019…
Chambers is out until next year realistically and so won’t be sold.
Home grown players don’t matter too much for us, as you need 8 for a squad of 25 or leave spaces in the squad. Players under 21 don’t count to either. Which for next season is still Nketiah, Willock, ESR, Saka, Martinelli, Nelson.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

FM…the most reliable football related source since football began

VAR will solve the problem

So on other news, I am being told 6 big teams in England and spu*ds are playing in Europe next season. Still in recognition for their achievement, Spurs will be producing a DVD. Mourinho insisted on it. Remembering how Wenger once said “4th is the new trophy” so not to be outdone Mourinho came up with his “6th is the new trophy” line since 6 to him is bigger a number than 4. And Mourinho always wanted to be bigger than anybody ever since he was boy…unfortunately for everyone else, his obession with being bigger only led to him being… Read more »


It doesn’t matter which happens first. There’s plenty of time

Johnny 4 Hats

This guy has got to be good. Why else would the chairman of his current club say such… wait a cotton picking minute.

santi's thigh grab

I would argue the opposite. Buy the players you want at the right price when you can get them and trust in your ability to move the other lot out after. Otherwise you might miss out on a key player.

Mentally Drained Gooner

Is kia his agent? Otherwise it’s just a rumour


That would be no surprise at all…..

Artetas Assistant

That would be great (I hear)

Iron Ljung

I require poos.

Public Elneny

Try Senokot


More Brazilian joining Arsenal..why not


Gabriel and Saliba together at CB, Tierney at LB and Hector at RB? What an exciting project our defence could become next year. Arsenal with a good, young defence? Gonna keep dreaming…

jack jack jack

It would be such an encouraging change of direction from our recent strategy of signings picked from a seemingly endless Generation Game conveyor belt of ageing, past-it defenders. More young, talented players please!


Brazillian CB named Gabriel. What could possibly go wrong?


I’d bring THAT Gabriel over a few of our CBs too


I loved that Gabriel. Was a raw Kos.


Mavropanos is on loan as well. I guess we’re going to hope Mari gets healthy and is good enough. We’re stuck with Luiz for another year. Saliba will get a lot of playing time. I think Sokratis has to go, Mavropanos should be loaned or sold, and if Mustafi were healthy, he’d find clubs who’d want him, and good luck to him. There’s a very good CB in Rob Holding, and I still like Chambers as a versatile if limited option at a number of positions (wasn’t he the starting DM for his last loan outfit?). Maybe this Brazilian is… Read more »

jack jack jack

I think that’s a really good analysis of our current options – and it’s definitely the case that it could hinge on whether Arteta is planning to play three at the back or revert the more natural four. If it’s the latter, we could end up with a silly number of centre-backs, but, y’know, if this Gabriel is super talented, let’s bloody scoop him up if we can…How many times have we missed out on a future star due to logistical inhibitions on our part? I’d much rather we take the gamble.


We have too many central backs in number but outside Saliba & Mari who have barely played, none of them seem capable of playing in a back 4. A back 3 is to try to hide their weaknesses

Cygans Parting

Saliba has been playing in a back three with Saint Etienne. Let’s hope he can adapt well to a back four during preseason. ?

Dave M

Yup we can’t continue with 5 at the back long term, it is far too negative and means we will naturally struggle in midfield. I’m certain arteta understands this, but is making the most of what we have… Limited centre backs and limited midfielders. He’s done a great job of turning it around in big games, but it’s clear against mid-to-lower table teams this formation lacks creativity and an ability to control the middle of the pitch.


Yes- Arteta is doing a great job with a very limited squad. In a lot of ways playing big teams suits us right now as they have to attack and we can counter. We aren’t really set up squad wise to be the bigger team who has to attack as a back 4 highlights how weak our central defenders are. I know people love Holding, but I’m not sold that there’s a top 4 PL CB among Holding, Luiz, Papa, Mavaranos & Chambers.

Dave M

Couldnt agree more atom!


lol theres a very good cb in most centre backs however those that are good enough produce a performance most games not once in 37 matches.
holding is not good enough for the premier league and alongside sokratis should be moved on, mustafi can sit on the bench


I’d say Arteta will play 3 at the back more often than not. The level this club needs to be at, we need to have at least 2 other CB to play with Saliba who are better than anyone we have now. Meaning Mari and Chambers/Rob/Luiz fighting it out for 4th and 5th choice. We could spend big on someone like this guy, or Diego Carlos, and also get a Malang Sarr or someone else cheap who will improve upon what we have. It’s just really easy to improve this area of the squad, simply a matter of moving players… Read more »

Gooning from Lagos

I’m getting very uncomfortable at the level of expectation placed on Saliba. He’s still a kid for a CB. He remains unproven, especially now coming to a new league, the premiere league at that. Let’s give the boy time to settle and prove his worth before counting him as #1 on the team sheet. He hasn’t kicked a ball for Arsenal, yet our fans consider him the one to carry the defense. We all hope he turns out to be that exceptional a talent, but we should learn from history. Legends like Henry, Pires, Bergkamp took time to settle in… Read more »


Mavropanos loan I think already in place. He signed extension with us but will be off hanging out with Sven in Germany for the year


This guy is a mystery. Will he ever be good enough for our first team? What’s the thinking with Mavro?

Wilshere’s Middle Finger

We could be doing a Chelsea on it, and sell him for a decent fee after a few seasons on loan if he performs well.

ashish mann

Bring out the poo meter already!


Do we really need him at this point? We have many option at the back if not for injure. I think a CDM and CAM is what we need most at this very Moment.


He’s left-footed. If Arteta wants to play a left footed CB we need at least two.


I have watched him play a handful of times and there’s no way he’s “among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now”.


I haven’t watched him play at all (yet).

But I’m amused at the way his current club president is talking him up, advertising his potential availability for a transfer whilst letting interested buyers know that he’s going to cost them big money if they want him.

Reminds me a bit of how the Lyon president operates, when it comes to transfers.

Texan Gooner

Would be interesting to see if we do get him how much playing time he gets relative to Saliba. I would guess at 22 (and left footed) he would be favored to have much more minutes, but would depend on how far along in their development Arteta sees both players.

jack jack jack

Sokratis has probably outstayed his welcome at the club now, and, sad as it may be, it could be time for Chambers to move on. I still think Holdini has some qualities in him, and should be persevered with. And – after many, many years of frustration and disappointment – I would be very glad to see us recoup some money for Mustafi. Two or three of those leaving would make another young defensive signing alongside Saliba really not that implausible. It feels like Mustafi will, against all odds, survive another year, but with a couple of departures, a signing… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Mustafi will get an extension and in a few years time will be the experienced head at the back to lead the youngsters, like what David Luiz is now

jack jack jack

I feel like Mustafi could have a fifty-year career and still wouldn’t pass as an ‘experienced head’.


hey at least he quit that stupid dance move/air guitar thing he used to do….




Where is the poo, Andrew?


Our defensive issues are not gonna be solved just by having a lot of defenders in the books.


10-0-0 formation. Mikel is so far ahead of the game!


I am getting my shirt 10 Magallas. Been long since we had a CB inherit that shirt from a proper number 10

Yellow Ribbon

Interesting player. Thankfully not another player linked with us who is at the end of his career.

There was a rumour that I came across about Barca willing to let go of Ousmane Dembele. I think he is the sort of a player that we should be willing to invest in. Just a thought.


Rather injury prone and precocious unfortunately.


We’ve got Pepe, Saka, Nelson out wide. And Willian too maybe. Dembele is no Griezmann – who I’d take in a heartbeat.


Surely we need to offload a few of the central defenders we already have rather than spending about £27 million of our scare resources on this one. We were relatively weak, financially, before Covid arrived and playing to closed stadiums since then hasn’t made our position stronger. I don’t see an influx of expensive players unless Stan Kroenke (very) unexpectedly starts splashing the cash. We’re going to have to be careful and canny in the transfer market to do what’s necessary to get us up/keep us up from the current mid-table position.


All depends on what formation arteta is going to us next season and who’s going to be sold. Is mari and Luiz going to be our centre back pairing in a 2? Plus mustafi and chambers will not be sold as there injured. I think midfield should be our main focus if we’re going for a variant of 433.


Saliba will be in. Luiz can’t be a part of back 2.

Cultured Determination

Are we playing 3 at the back for the long term? I think we would be netter getting a DM who can drop down to CB instead of a CB trying to push up to DM which we are also not doing. We have too many CBs now anyway. I like holding. Im still hoping he could be long term starter.


Interesting that, aside from Partey, we aren’t being linked to a central midfielder (I don’t take seriously the Coutinho links). Perhaps Arteta is considering a Wenger move? Maybe he is thinking about buying a winger or a CB and trying them out in midfield? I wonder if Mustafi would work as a DM?


Ceballos did a massive job in the middle in the Santi role. Perhaps he sees Willock there? Or Smith-Rowe? We do need someone who can run and do one-twos. BTW, rumours speak of Kante being on the market…


This looks like an interesting signing. We should be building for the future with young exciting players like this guy. BTW: it looks like the Willian signing is all but completed. This is a colossal mistake: wasting huge amounts of our precious wage bill on a player we don’t need is stupid. This transfer window is massively important: we need to offload about a dozen dross players (including Ozil), sign two central defenders and a creative midfielder, and keep Auba. But Willian and Coutino should be nowhere near the club. Both could become the new Ozil: demotivated overage, passed-it players… Read more »

Paul Roberts

I’m not a fan of it but if it is Arteta who wants him then I have to say I’m in.

Paul Roberts

Willian I mean.


You’re right Fats. There’s likely a good reason Chelsea won’t give him 3 years. They see him train everyday and the cost of keeping him is nothing to their budget.


Look at the number of players they have in his position! Of course they won’t give him 3 years. And you think Willian will be happy sitting on the bench if Chelsea paid him what he wants?

Artetas Assistant

Willian hasn’t won as much as Ozil who has won everything. Plus luiz will stick is leg up his bruda arse if he fumbleth


It’s funny how a guy born in 1997 is seen as an up and coming star and yet Ceballos was born in 1996 and we judge him like he’s in his prime. He arrived in the most intense league in the world, had 3 different coaches, got injured, faced a global pandemic and still managed to be one of our best and most important players at the end of the season. I feel like he can be very special for us. I think our expectations were very high given the Real Madrid label, and we tend to forget that he’s… Read more »


Now this is a bit more like it. 22 years old, Champions League experience, helped his club finish second only below PSG and built like the proverbial brick shit house. Have only seen flashes of him play, but looks assured, composed and an old head on young shoulders. Pricey, but such is the state of our central defence at the moment, I would be inclined to back the club if they chose to take a punt. Clearly other centre backs need moving on; I won’t mention whom – this site knows pretty much who I want packed and gone, I’ve… Read more »

djourou's nutmeg

just bought mari and saliba, renewed luiz, been said by the manager that’d like to keep mustafi… and then there’s holding who’s our best cb imo. that’s five players to stay, if we get to sell chambers, sokratis and mavropanos. would be surprised if we buy a cb at all

Paul Roberts

No Poos no party…


We need another CB. I like Holding and Chambers, Mari may be good, Mustafi has redeemed himself, but I don’t see how you can argue that we have one CB on our books who has played for us that we can trust and need. Saliba hasn’t played for us yet. We can’t place too much pressure on him. We have a make shift defense that will always be flawed without some new players. And we also clearly need creativity in midfield. I don’t understand recruiting forwards and wingers when we have young players who need minutes there and we have… Read more »


Everyone I know has been linked with a move to Arsenal FC this summer. Its like those cold calling number generators. Everyone gets a ring at some point. You are born. You pay taxes. You are linked to Arsenal FC. You die…


Poo meter?


Brazil FC here we come! But in all seriousness, he is a strong CB and I think offers value for money. He has a good long range pass on him too and could eventually replace Luiz once his contract expires. He suits Arteta’s vision of playing out from the back. He’s 22 so has time on his side. Transfer season is silly season so many names will be mentioned, but few will materialize. If true though, this could be a good addition.

Obama Young

We’re going to have to wait until January (or whenever the next window is) to move on any of our injured CBs– Chambers, Mari, or Mustafi. No one is paying anywhere near full price for a player who can’t even play, it’d be bad business to dump an injured player for far less than we could get if we wait. Sokratis seems like he is leaving, Mavropanos is out on loan, and with those other 2 injured, we can certainly add another CB, especially if we ever play 3 at once, which we have been doing lately. We won’t have… Read more »


Holding has to go his passing is atrocious and he’s terrible at one on ones.

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