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.”