Arteta explains reason for benching Gabriel for second straight week amidst Real Madrid links


PREMIER LEAGUE Arteta explains reason for benching Gabriel for second straight week amidst Real Madrid links

Mark Kinyanjui 13:09 - 22.08.2023

Gabriel has started both of Arsenal's league games on the bench amidst Real Madrid links.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has explained his decision to bench Gabriel Magalhaes for the second time this season in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Arsenal picked up their second consecutive Premier League win after securing a narrow victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Odegaard's second-half goal from the penalty spot was enough for the Gunners to take all three points.

Arteta decided to play with the same defense as in their opener against Nottingham Forest with the exception of Jurrien Timber, who has suffered an ACL injury. However, despite many expecting that Gabriel Magalhaes would replace him, it was Japanese defender Takerio Tomiyasu who came into the starting eleven.

In recent days, the Brazilian center-back has been linked with a possible move to Saudi Arabia. In addition, according to the Daily Mail, Real Madrid are also willing to make a move for the Arsenal defender to fill the gap left by Militao after the Los Merengues defender ruptured his ACL.

The Gunners boss was asked in the press room after the win over the Eagles whether his decision to bench the Brazilian center-back had anything to do with a possible exit from the English club.

"It’s about the games we were expecting, that I was expecting, and how I wanted to defend and attack and what I believed was the best thing,” Arteta told the press after the match against Palace, which The Gunners won 1-0.

"He’s played in both games, he helped us to win both games for different reasons. He was really good today, he absolutely dominated the box when he came on and he’s going to play a lot of games. But that’s the decision sometimes.”

Gabriel had become a key figure for Mikel Arteta since joining the club from Lille in 2020 and had become one of the first names on the team sheet in each of the last two seasons, so getting dropped out of the blue over the last two games has raised eyebrows.