New Arsenal signing Gabriel Magalhaes has confirmed the influence of Mikel Arteta and Edu proved decisive in his decision to join the Gunners.
The Brazilian centre-half’s arrival was confirmed on Tuesday after Arsenal agreed a £27milion fee with Lille and made the 22-year-old their second major signing of the summer.
Gabriel had been tracked by the likes of Napoli and had even been on the radar of Manchester United but ultimately decided to join his compatriots Gabriel Martinelli, David Luiz and fellow new-boy Willian in north London.
Edu, the club’s technical director, has taken on added responsibility in helping Arteta accelerate his rebuilding job following the departure of Raul Sanllehi earlier this month and the former Arsenal midfielder played a crucial role in the signing of his club’s latest recruit.
‘[Edu and I] had several chats about Arsenal and the new project, we had many good conversations,’ Gabriel told Arsenal Digital.
‘As the days went by I was getting very excited about it, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring.
‘Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot. That is the very reason I am here today.
‘We did not talk about [details], he just told me he is aware of my quality, my capacity and how far I can go. He also said he will be very demanding with me.
Arteta, who enhanced his burgeoning reputation by masterminding Arsenal’s Community Shield win over Liverpool last weekend, now has an abundance of central defenders at his disposal.
Rob Holding starred at Wembley against the champions but he is interesting the likes of Newcastle, while Calum Chambers could return to Fulham, while the likes of Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi are likely to be deemed surplus to requirements.