Ian Wright has detailed how he “adores” Gabriel Magalhaes, and it was a “worrying time” when he wasn’t playing at the start of the season, but the defender knew “everything is fine”.
Gabriel didn’t miss a single Premier League game last season. The Brazilian was part of one of the best defences in the league, which helped the Gunners almost win the title, ultimately losing out to Manchester City.
However, for the first three games this season, he sat on the bench, only being introduced for a total of 24 minutes between them.
His omission from the side was part of Mikel Arteta’s plan to fit new midfield signings Declan Rice and Kai Havertz in the same side as both Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard.
That led to Partey occupying the right-back position, Ben White shifting to the centre, and Gabriel losing his place. Gunners legend Wright has detailed how that was a worrying move, but Gabriel was sure he was going to get back in the side.
“I remember we were doing an Adidas shoot and he was there, it was just at the start of the season where, for some reason, he wasn’t in the team, which is something no-one has cleared up to me, he wasn’t being picked, I don’t know what was going on, he wasn’t injured, that was a worrying time for me,” he said on Wrighty’s House.
“I remember saying something to him, but he gave me a look to say ‘it’s fine, everything is fine’.”
Wright also highlighted his adoration for the centre-back, who may sometimes be overshadowed due to the quality of his partner, William Saliba.
“I have to say, I love the lads but Gabriel Magalhaes is a player, I adore him. Saliba is somewhere else but I adore Gabriel,” Wright added.
Gabriel’s missed just one game since returning to the side after his brief hiatus, and has played every single minute in each competition otherwise.