Sat. Jun 19th, 2021

Arsenal new signing Gabriel Magalhaes says a call from Mikel Arteta helped convince him to sign for the Gunners from Lille.

The transfer was formally announced at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.  The 22-year-old centre-back has signed a long-term contract for a fee understood to be in the region of £22m.

Gabriel joins fellow Brazilians David Luiz and Willian in north London.

Napoli and Manchester United were also interested in the player, according to the Corriere dello Sport.

But speaking with Arsenal’s official site, Gabriel explained that speaking with Edu and Arteta convinced him to move to London.

“[Edu and I] had several chats about Arsenal and the new project, we had many good conversations,” said Gabriel.

“As the days went by I was getting very excited about it, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring.



“Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot. That is the very reason I am here today.

“We did not talk about [details], he just told me he is aware of my quality, my capacity and how far I can go. He also said he will be very demanding with me.

“I know he is a great coach and I will make progress with his help.”

‘Dream come true’

Gabriel also revealed that Luiz was an idol of his growing up in Brazil.

“For sure David is an example, he is a player I admire very much,” Gabriel told Arsenal Digital. “I was always a big fan of him and everything he achieved.

“I watched him since I was a kid, I played video games with his character and today it is a dream come true to be here with him and hopefully play next to him soon.

“It is always good to have Brazilian players at the club to welcome me, it is very important for me. I don’t speak English very well and I will try to learn as fast as I can.

“Nicolas Pepe is also a good friend of mine, also David they messaged me and welcomed me, this is very important to me and makes me very happy. I cannot wait to meet the rest of the squad, Willian and Gabriel Martinelli too,” he added.

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