Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Gabriel: Saliba is a good friend already

Gabriel Magalhães says he’s forging a bond with William Saliba on and off the pitch and revealed the pair chat to each other in French.

Gabriel’s fluency in the language stems from a three-year spell on the books with Lille and he’s happy reverting to Saliba’s mother tongue while the duo’s English improves.

In an interview with Sky Sports ahead of Saturday’s clash with Leicester, Gabriel said: “He’s a young player who came here at a very young age and then went out to get some experience.

“Now, despite his age, he is already playing for the French national team. That tells you how good he is. He’s here to help the team and he’s a very promising talent.

“He is a good friend of mine already. We speak French together, so that helps. He has added a lot of quality to the team and I think he has a brilliant future ahead of him.”

Despite overlapping at Arsenal for two years, it wasn’t until Friday’s win over Crystal Palace that the two defenders were paired together in a competitive fixture.

It’s a partnership that manager Mikel Arteta will likely explore further on Saturday following the 2-0 win and clean sheet.

“I have been here for two years now, so I do have experience that I can use to help him,” explains Gabriel.

“But at the same time, he can help me. He has a lot of quality and a lot of physical strength out on the pitch. We have similar qualities. I think we complement each other well.”

For the moment, Gabriel appears very content with his lot and has played down talk of an exit. He and the team have come on leaps and bounds in the last two years and he’s keen see where Arteta’s project goes next.

On links with other clubs in Europe, he said: “It’s always nice to get that recognition but I’m really focused on Arsenal.

“I am very happy here. I’ve got a good relationship with my teammates and I am fully committed to the project. I am convinced that, with the project we have, we can achieve a lot.”

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That’s nice. I’d quite like a friend.

Mesut Ö’Neill

Billy no-mates.

Me, Magalhães and I

Gabi please tell him to just “Signer ‘da ting'”!

Thanking you in advance,

Arsenal fans


Agreed, we need Saliba for many years. And Saka too please…


That big Willy energy is taking us places.


Who the fuck is downvoting this?

Must be some Spud troll, having a peek and crapping himself as to whether the 70’s syrup wearer’s collection of panic buys, has beens and pensioners-elect are all going to live up to the media hype – or royally blow it when it comes to the trophies being handed out – YET AGAIN.


“voilà ton stylo, signes le contrat Will” would be much more appropriate 😇
(Excuse my native french, I’ll grab my coat😅…)

The Only Olivier is Giroud

Those two, along with Ben White, Tomi, and Zinchenko, really have the potential to become a fierce back four. A great blend of physicality and technical soundness to go with flexibility and youth. Couple that with Ramsdale behind them and it’s hard not to get a little giddy with what this squad could look like in a season or two!


a season, not two!

Bleeding gums murphy



It’s laughable how everyone is comfortably starting to overlook Tierney. Zinchenko is immaculate o the ball, but very suspect defensively. A fit Tierney is still no.1 LB at the club, in my opinion.


I’m with you on Tierney but what gives you the impression Zinchenko is suspect defensively? I never really watched him play for city.


I’d go as far as to say in the league!

Merlin’s Panini

I think his absences have made people wish for someone more durable. He is our best option when fit but that’s only ever for half a season it seems.
I really hope he can have a more sustained period of fitness this season. I think the five subs rule will help massively with that.

Teryima Adi

You’re right. Zinko is more a flair player. Tierney is our Corporal- a no nonsense defender. A thing to note was that he sealed the space the Eagles were exploiting when he came on for Zinko last Friday.

Tankard Gooner

So much quality at the CB positions with these 2 and White.. I really can’t remember a time like this after the Campbell/Toure era. Maybe Per/Kos.. But nah, our new backline is hella better!!!


Per and Koscielny were superb defenders and I don’t think Saliba and Gabriel are quite there yet.
But I do think both these two have a higher ceiling.


Per and Kos were good, but they’re nowhere near these two.

These two are the best we’ve had since Adams and Campbell in 01/02.

Mesut Ö’Neill

Toure & Campbell 03/04?


I would give TA the nod over Toure – but only just!


Model response. A great example to Saliba.

And anyway it doesn’t do your negotiations any good to say otherwise

Definitely one of the leaders in the teAm

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Long live the Sabriel partnership!



Man Manny

But for opposing attackers, they are faced with a SaGa.


I like GabiBill or GaWilly 😊

Merlin’s Panini



Hoe. 😂
Seriously though, this out crop of CBs really excite me. We’ve come a long way. And long may it continue. COYG. Let’s smash Leicester!


our crop ffs!

Teryima Adi

Smash them and get Tielemans.😄


Have anyone watched episodes 456 already?

I swear in the middle part of episode 5, they dubbed in Andrew mangan podcast or soliloquy in ! i could hear Andrew ‘s voice, commenting on something. Think they were quoting some fan’s opinion on that part. Hahahah


Yeah. Got featured in the trailer as well. Soon as I heard it, I just knew that, yeap! That is Andrew alright 😂

Would he get paid for something like that, do you think?


Episode 4, at the 42min mark,

Andrew podcasting about arteta testing positive!!!! Hahaha

Guns Up

Thought it was just me, ha ha!! Thanks for confirming I’m not crazy.


Saliba and White is the ideal pairing. Both are better on the ball and are less erratic than Gabriel. Should only be a matter of time before we evolve in that direction.

I recall saying on here that Saliba would walk into our 11 in place of one of those two and met with great disagreement. Gabriel is the poorest of the three right now.


Gabriel is one of the biggest reasons why we are now very solid at set pieces, not to forget that he is a threat from the same in opposition boxes. Yes, he is erratic. But he is also very proactive and aggressive against strikers, a trait I like. Pairing him with any of the cool-headed Saliba/White duo is our best option because he is the leader in defense.


Agreed, plus L-R balance




I would be inclined to agree on Saliba, but I can’t possibly see how White is a better cb than Gabriel. He might be less eratic, but he’s also rather lacking in strength and aggression, and his positioning isn’t even that strong either. Personally, Gabi and Saliba are who I expect to take their place as first XI soon.


Perm any 2 from 3. Rotate and give them recovery time. Ditto with Tierney and Zinchenko. The priority is to keep all our best players fit.


I literally cannot wait to see Son and Kane run into these two – like a couple of pissed up drunks walking straight into a couple of lampposts and falling completely arse over tit.

I think even the likes of Haaland isn’t going to get it all his own way with Saliba around.

They are, quite simply, the best centre halve pairing we’ve had since Adams and Campbell.

And not before time: it’s been a fucking long time coming…

Julio Baptista's humble alter ego

Chill bro, it’s been 2 games. Mertesacker and Koscielny were easily our best pairing since Adams and Campbell

Man Manny

I hope Saliba signs a new deal with us.
In spite of his public posturing, I am sure Arteta has acknowledged the tardy manner he handled him in the past, privately.
Having said that, the battle between him and White for that RCB spot will be interesting.
The odds are in Saliba’s favour right now, but I don’t expect White to roll over for him. Our defence shall be the better for it.


any more news about Saliba’s extension?

Merlin’s Panini

This is a huge bonus in convincing Saliba to sign a new deal. Having someone who you have a solid relationship with next to you is so important for a centre back. These two are so imposing and authoritative. Physically we haven’t had that since Adams and Keown.


Good to see Willy is representing the west siiiiiide….of France?

Teryima Adi

Long may the partnership continue.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x