‘Gabriel an absolute steal for Arsenal at £25m’ – Campbell talks up impact of Brazilian defender

Gabriel Magalhaes Arsenal 2020-21Getty

Gabriel Magalhaes has proved to be an “absolute steal” for Arsenal at £25 million ($33m), says Kevin Campbell, with the Brazilian ticking important boxes for the Gunners as a centre-half “who wants to defend”.

A north London heavyweight has not always found those qualities easy to come by.

Big money has been invested in defenders of international calibre, but few have convinced and been able to plug leaks that have been weighing Arsenal down for some time.

Gabriel, though, has slotted seamlessly into the fold on the back of a summer switch from Lille.

His potential was much sought-after during the last transfer window, with leading sides across Europe ready to test the water, but Emirates Stadium was to be his final landing spot.

Mikel Arteta wasted little time in throwing a new recruit in at the deep end.

Gabriel has swum impressively against the tide, with his presence helping to make Arsenal look considerably more assured at the back.

Campbell believes an immediate return has been offered by a South American enforcer on the investment made in him.

The former Gunners striker is impressed that Arteta was able to do a deal at a relatively low asking price, with it about time that the Premier League giants found themselves a defensive bargain.

“Finally Arsenal have got a centre-back who wants to defend, who likes to defend,” Campbell told Football Insider.

“You see Gabriel back there and he is making the players around him better. That is the sign of a top-class player.

“He is powerful, quick, strong, good on the ball and good in the air – Arsenal stole him for that price!

“That is an absolute steal because he is only going to get better. A very strong player that is only in his 20s. A signing that has hit the ground running straight away.”

Gabriel is just 22 years of age, but has already passed the 100-appearance mark at club level.

Arsenal will be hoping that the Brazilian remains a key part of their plans for many years to come, with a highly-rated talent having been tied to a contract through to 2025 when arriving in English football.