The wait for our beloved new signing is becoming excruciatingly more tedious by the day. As of last night, it was reported that Napoli had made Gabriel Magalhaes a new ‘big salary’ offer and have in return asked the Brazilian to wait for them to sell Kalidou Koulibaly before making a decision. This has left Arsenal fans worldwide in limbo, contemplating whether the 22-year-old wants to come to the Emirates or not.
Despite the youngster’s family members following Arsenal accounts on Instagram, it seems like he may be heading to Naples. Alas, if that does happen, which I hope it doesn’t, then we must move on and look at alternatives.
Here are three alternatives to Gabriel Magalhaes.
Cheap, left-footed, and versatile, Malang Sarr fits the profile of what Mikel Arteta needs in a centre-back. The former Nice defender declined the offer of a new contract and wants to explore options beyond Ligue 1. It’s even been reported in recent weeks that Barcelona are monitoring his situation as they plan a major overhaul of their squad.
Comfortable at playing as a CB or LB, the 21-year-old would offer Arsenal much cover across the back four. In his last season at Nice, the centre-back averaged 1.9 interceptions, 1.4 clearances and 1 tackle a game. His willingness to engage in duels paired with his impressive physical attributes will make him a perfect fit for the Premier League. Whether it’s alongside a debutant William Saliba or the experienced David Luiz, Sarr will provide much solidity to our revamped defence.
Aston Villa escaped relegation to the Championship by the skin of their teeth this season. Hawkeye’s incompetency is the reason why the Villains are still in the Premier League but beyond that, the performances of Tyrone Mings have also been a deciding factor. The 27-year-old has been a standout performer in the league and not many defenders have bettered his displays across the country.
In a captain-like campaign, the England international made 189 clearances, 30 interceptions, 15 tackles, blocked 48 shots and was only dribbled past 3 times in 33 appearances. He’s evidently a combative defender but what will impress Arteta more is his 78% pass accuracy and an average of 41.9 passes a game in a side that’s poor at retaining possession. Due to what we call ‘English VAT’, the 27-year-old could cost the Gunners in excess of £35million, a price tag he’s probably worth.
Listen I know I know, he’s old, not left-footed, and not the Brazilian we wanted but Thiago Silva’s recent performances in the Champions League have proved he’s not finished at the top level. Look at his semi-final display against RB Leipzig, the defender made 8 clearances, won 2 aerial duels, blocked 2 shots, and was only dribbled past once. If this is how he’s performing in Europe’s elite competition, then surely, he’d be fine in the Premier League aka the new Farmers League?
Across his career, Silva has won 8 league titles, 19 domestic cups and 1 Copa America. The centre-back has done it all and such experience would be welcome at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta has said it himself that he wants to build a winning mentality in the dressing room and that can only be done with the presence of players who are serial winners. Thiago Silva fits that mould and his presence would only help further the development of William Saliba.