There has been much speculation about the future of defender Gabriel Magalhaes, and he has been on the bench for all three of Arsenal’s Premier League games so far.

The 25-year-old had started 73 games in a row before being surprisingly dropped, but it has since become clear that Mikel Arteta’s tactical system he has employed in recent weeks cannot yet fit him in.

Thomas Partey has played as an inverted right-back, with the left options of Jurrien Timber, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Jakub Kiwior being selected for their versatility and ability on the ball.

Gabriel has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, and losing his place in the team has led to intense speculation that he could depart.

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However, Football.London have now confirmed that Arsenal’s intention is to keep the player, and losing his place in the side is purely down to tactical reasons, rather than anything to do with the Saudi links.

Gabriel must not be sold

The tactics Arteta used in the opening three games were seemingly a response to the absence of Oleksandr Zinchenko as an inverted left-back. With the Ukranian now back and fit, it seems that Gabriel can also return to the lineup, as Arteta moves back to the defensive unit which was so impressive last season.

The new system did work to an extent, with Arsenal dominating possession, but a draw to Fulham has led to increased calls for a return to last season’s formation, and therefore a return to the lineup for Gabriel.

Arsenal Training Session
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

He has previously been described as “committed” by Kevin Campbell, and given that he signed a long-term contract last season, it would be a huge surprise, and a huge loss, if he is sold this summer.

Arsenal would struggle to find a replacement in the final few days of the window, and as an aerially dominant centre-back who has improved dramatically over the last two seasons, selling him now would cause significant uproar amongst the fanbase.

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