Arsenal have been linked with a summer move for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, it has been reported.
The Gunners had inquired about Gabriel’s availability in the January transfer window, and as per the Sun, he is likely to cost the club at least £30million in the summer transfer window.
Gabriel, who joined the club in 2018, has a contract with Lille until 2023, having signed an extension a few days ago, so it remains to be seen if Arsenal will make an approach considering they will have to pay a lot more in the summer.
The 22-year old Brazilian has been a key player for Lille this season and has made 20 appearances for the French side so far in Ligue 1.
Gabriel Magalhaes – Good potential but a risky option
The Gunners signed William Saliba in the summer and loaned him back to Saint-Etienne as they felt he wasn’t ready for first-team action in England, and would benefit from more playing time in France. However, he has made just five appearances for the French side this season.
The bigger issue is, Saliba was signed under Unai Emery, who is no longer at the club, so it remains to be seen how Saliba will be used in the future by Mikel Arteta.
Saliba is still only 18, and it’s clear that even if he does have a future at the club, he won’t be making regular appearances any time soon and is a long-term option.
Gabriel himself isn’t that experienced, but he has played at a higher level and is a likelier option for immediate first-team football at the Emirates if he does move to Arsenal.
The 22-year old featured in the Champions League for Lille – all six games – and is a regular player for the club.
A pretty tall and imposing player, Gabriel is also good with his passing; something Arsenal sorely need at the moment as they defence has been pretty poor, weak, and lacklustre.
Gabriel averaged two tackles and 2.2 interceptions in the Champions League group stages this season, and made 3.7 clearances a game as well.
A fee of £30million seems a bit steep, but it seems like Arsenal will have to spend big if they are to add players with potential and those who can offer something more than the current crop of defenders.
Arsenal do need better players at the back, but a move for Gabriel would be a risk as he hasn’t performed consistently at the highest level of club football yet.