Gabriel Magalhaes’ Arsenal shirt number confirmed

The 22-year-old defender’s move from French side Lille has been confirmed, as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta further adds to his defensive line at the Emirates ahead of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Arsenal have completed the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille.

The Brazilian defender moves to the Emirates, penning a long-term deal, for a fee understood to be in the region of £22million.

The Gunners have fought off interest from a number of other sides to land the centre-half, including Italian side Napoli and Premier League rivals Everton.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta declared: “He has many qualities which will make us stronger as a defensive unit and as a team.

“He has proved with Lille that he is a defender with many outstanding attributes.

“We are looking forward to watching him grow as an Arsenal player.”

Arsenal technical director Edu added: “He is a player we have been studying for a while and he was in demand by many clubs, so we are proud to have agreed and completed this transfer with Lille and the player.

“Gabriel is a player of high quality and Mikel and his coaches are looking forward to integrating him into the club.”

Gabriel wore the No.4 shirt at Lille, for whom he played in the Champions League last season.

But with fellow new boy William Saliba – finally moving to the Emirates after staying on loan at Saint Etienne last term – having taken that number for the new campaign, Gabriel has elected to follow in the footsteps of the likes of club legend Tony Adams, by taking the No.6 shirt.

Another iconic former Arsenal defender, Martin Keown, has been speaking up the arrival of Gabriel, who he believes will be a major boost to Arteta’s backline.

“He’s really strong, quick, left-footed player,” he told BT Sport over the weekend.

“I saw him play against Chelsea for Lille last season, I went out to watch him.

“Magnificent player, I think he’s the future. He sees danger and he’s a leader.”

Speaking on his arrival, Gabriel admits talks with Arteta ensured he knew he was making the right decision.

“Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot,” says Gabriel.

“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.”