Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes spoke to ESPN Brasil this week about his defensive partners at the Emirates.
The Brazilian has been a huge hit since joining the Gunners last summer. He won the player of the month award three times in a row and became a fan-favourite at the Emirates almost instantly.
Gabriel, however, has not always had it easy. His English still isn’t that great and that is a problem for him at the back. Communication among fellow defenders is vital in every game, and the Brazilian has had his problems at times.
If David Luiz or Pablo Mari start alongside him, things are a lot easier as the trio share a common language. However, if it’s Rob Holding next to him, things get a little tricky, especially when Arsenal are under pressure.
Gabriel has claimed that communicating with Holding on the pitch has been difficult. However, he believes that the two of them can soon make this Arsenal defence ‘flawless’.
He said: “Rob is a little more difficult to communicate with (than Luiz or Mari), but when we are in the field we try to communicate as much as Mikel asks. It doesn’t matter if you speak Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese – the important thing is to communicate.
“I think that, step by step, we are communicating better and I believe that we can make this Arsenal defence flawless.”
The Insider’s View:
There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that Gabriel is a fantastic defender. He has the pace, agility and the awareness that a centre-half needs, and his aggressiveness makes him a perfect fit in the Premier League.
Holding has also been brilliant lately. The Englishman has been heavily criticised in the past for a few errors, but he always steps up when we need him the most, just like he did again last night.
In Gabriel, Holding, Mari and William Saliba, Arsenal have a bunch of top-quality defenders. We may not have a flawless defence any time soon, but it is likely that we will be a lot more solid at the back in the near future than we have been in the past.