Gabriel Magalhães signs new contract as Arsenal look to tie down key players | Arsenal


Gabriel Magalhães has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal in the first of what the Premier League leaders hope will be a sequence of fresh deals agreed with key players.

Terms were finalised on Friday in a meeting between Gabriel, his representatives and senior club staff at Arsenal’s training ground. The contract is seen as a reward for the progress Gabriel, whose deal ran until 2025, has made since signing from Lille in September 2020.

The 24-year-old has been a cornerstone of Arsenal’s defensive improvement under Mikel Arteta and has formed a balanced, imposing partnership at centre-back with William Saliba this season. In 83 appearances across all competitions he has contributed nine goals and proved an athletic presence in both penalty areas. He has hopes of a call-up to Brazil’s World Cup squad next month and a first full cap.

Only Newcastle have a better defensive record than Arsenal this season and Arteta believes their solidity augurs well. “A winning team needs to have a spine of the team that is tremendously consistent and play at a really high level, keep clean sheets and we are doing that a lot,” he said.

Arteta hailed the solidity Gabriel and Saliba, who has made a huge impact since returning from a loan at Saint-Étienne, have added. “I think when we look at a central defender we look at partnerships,” he said. “I think Gabby has made William a better player and I think Willy helps Gabby to be the same. There is a strong chemistry there – you can sense it. The way they communicate with each other and play for each other, it is really positive and what you want.”

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The pair have made isolated errors, including a slip from Gabriel that led to Darwin Núñez’s goal in the win over for Liverpool, but Arteta acknowledges that is part of the process. Saliba is 21 and nobody else in the leading pack has been leaning on such a young first-choice pairing.

“If you look at some of the goals we have conceded there have been some individual errors in some of them but they have been shared,” he said. “We have to accept that when you have young players in those positions, this is going to happen and that is the bill.”

Arsenal are also looking to tie down Saliba on a new deal, while discussions are ongoing about updated contracts for Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.



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