‘Emotional’ Arsenal man identified as a ‘concern’ as club legend tips Arteta to sign replacement

Arsenal defender Gabriel applauds the fans Credit: Alamy
Arsenal defender Gabriel applauds the fans Credit: Alamy

Arsenal legend Alan Smith believes Gabriel Magalhaes is a “concern” for Mikel Arteta, who will look to replace the centre-half “in the future”.

Gabriel has been brilliant this season, though he has shown at times he can be a liability.

He has formed a wonderful partnership next to William Saliba, who has also been very consistent this term.

The Gunners are back on top of the Premier League after a hectic 4-2 win at Aston Villa on Saturday, ending a run of four games without a victory in all competitions.

During the difficult period – which included a heartbreaking 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday – there has been a bit of an inquest.

While some have criticised Arteta, like Graeme Souness, former Gunners striker Alan Smith has called on the Spanish manager to replace Gabriel at some point.

“Gabriel would be a concern for Arteta in the future. He can be so emotional on these occasions and that can affect his game,” Smith told Bestgamblingsites.com.

“If you look at Saliba, you hardly notice him because he’s so calm. He does the simple things really effectively.

“Whereas Gabriel catches the eye for a number of reasons and I think it’s something Arteta will consider if he can rely on him going into these big games. That’s an issue for Arsenal I think.”

Arteta brought in Polish international Jakub Kiwior last month. The ex-Spezia defender will provide back-up for Gabriel and is the left-footed centre-half Arsenal needed.

Arsenal were rumoured to be interested in signing Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

After a poor performance against City during the week, Gabriel came under some criticism from former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor.

“A lot of mistakes from Arsenal,” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT after the match. “The first one, [Takehiro] Tomiyasu, it happened. [Jack] Grealish is pressing him and he does not see Kevin De Bruyne running through.

“It is Gabriel, for me, though. Every time you watch him, he is the one you always think has a mistake in him. Yesterday, the penalty that was not given because Haaland was offside.

“He got away with one, there. He wanted to fight and battle with Haaland and then gives away a penalty. Then the goal that Haaland scores – it is just poor defending all round; giving the ball away at times where you shouldn’t be.”

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