Arsenal defender Gabriel signs new long-term contract as Arteta lauds ‘chemistry’ with Saliba

arsenal defender gabriel1

Arsenal have confirmed that Gabriel Magalhaes has signed a new long-term contract and Mikel Arteta has praised the in-form defender.

PA News Agency understands that the centre-back has agreed a long-term contract extension after holding talks with his agent and Arsenal’s hierarchy on Friday.

The Gunners spent around £27m to sign the 24-year-old from Lille in 2020. He has already played 83 times for the Premier League side.

Serie A giants Juventus were linked with Gabriel in the summer but they could not tempt him away from Arsenal.

He has been an ever-present in the Premier League this season with Arsenal sitting top of the table with nine wins from 10 games.

Only Newcastle have conceded fewer than the 10 goals shipped by Mikel Arteta’s side this season as Gabriel continues to build an impressive understanding with William Saliba at the heart of the defence.

“I think when we look at a central defender we look at partnerships,” Arteta said when asked about Gabriel’s performances.

“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 and the way they communicate with each other and play for each other, it is really positive and what you want.

“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.”

The contract is the first in what Arsenal will hope is a long line of players committing their futures to the club.

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Bukayo Saka said last month he shares Arteta’s hopes that he will soon agree a fresh deal, with Gabriel Martinelli and Saliba also linked with new contracts.

Arteta recently admitted that he had concerns about his relationship with Saliba during the early days of his time in charge.

“I was at many moments concerned because it was really tricky the way the relationship was at the start.

“We bought him, we sent him on loan first because that was part of the deal. He came back, we didn’t think he was ready and then sent him back on loan.

“A player of that potential that had that recognition already externally… how that was going to affect our relationship?

“But we believed and I was convinced that period was going benefit him much more than staying here. And the moment I saw things that gave me signals of what he could do we had no doubt he was a player for us.

“He was really humble and determined to say ‘OK I can put that aside, I understand’. Now he’s starting to perform here and he’s been exceptional.”

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