Arteta point on Gabriel Magalhaes proven right after latest Arsenal showing

Arsenal's defence has long been a problem area, dating back to the end of Arsene Wenger's time in charge at the Emirates and continuing throughout Unai Emery's reign.

Big money fixes like Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have failed to shore up the back line and improving Arsenal defensively was one of the biggest challenges facing Mikel Arteta when he became manager last December.

Under Emery last season, Arsenal conceded an average of 1.45 goals per game in the Premier League and that dropped slightly to an average of 1.1 goals per game under Arteta.

As a result, new defensive recruits were a must and the Gunners forked out £27m for 22-year-old Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

Speaking on transfer deadline day after Gabriel had helped his side to 2-1 win over Sheffield United in his third league start of the season, Arteta underlined exactly why he wanted the defender at the Emirates.

"I am very impressed because I have always said in this league one of the most difficult positions to play is centre-back," he said. "You get challenged, exposed many times and tested many times for 96 minutes.

"I saw on the first day he has a lot of personality, he has big courage to play.

He's very secure, very stable as well mentally throughout the game and I think he has the physical and technical attributes to adapt very well to the league.

"That's why we signed him but credit to him because in this short space of time that's a big thing."

In the Europa League trip to Rapid Vienna on Thursday, Gabriel showed the same attributes Arteta talked up on deadline day, barely putting a foot wrong at the back.

Both his physical and technical attributes were on show, with the defender winning all four of his aerial duels and completing 88% of his passes

He looked good against Manchester City last week as well, in what proved to be his biggest test to date in an Arsenal shirt, and Gunners fans will be hoping he can continue his good start and be their defensive lynchpin for years to come.

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