Tag Archives: Gabriel Magalhães

Arsenal new boys “best signings in years”

Over the summer criticism of Edu creeped in as the transfer window rolled on.

The criticism was not unfounded, as Arsenal publicly struggled in their pursuit of Houssem Aouar and only completed the signing of Thomas Partey on the last day of the season.

But praise actually needs to be given for the transfer business we did over the summer. Especially with the recruitment of Thomas Partey and Gabriel.

Arsenal signed Brazilian centre back Gabriel on September 1st for a fee in the region of £24million.

He came with a good reputation in France, having impressed for Lille last season.

But there were questions marks.

Prior to 2019/20, he had a couple of uninspiring loan deals at Troyes before joining Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, where he made just one league appearance for each club’s senior team.

His statistics, however, held up well.

Whether it was aerial duels, ground duels or passing, he was producing better statistics than anyone at Arsenal. Although this came with the caveat that he was playing in France.

He has taken to English football like a duck to water and should already be considered one of the best central defenders in the league.

When you consider Manchester City and Manchester United have spent so much on central defenders in recent years, and Chelsea had to settle on vetran Thiago Silva, Gabriel feels like a real coup.

Virgil van Dijk aside, it is a struggle to name a better central defender in the league than Gabriel. And at 22 (and with van Dijk out for a year), Gabriel will quickly establish himself as the best in the league.

Thomas Partey was signed on the last day of the transfer window.

We have only seen him for 90 minutes in the Europa League, but he confirmed what we already know about him – that he is a beat of a central midfielder.

A few people expected Partey to replace Granit Xhaka as the midfield anchor. But this would result in Partey losing 50% of his influence.

Just because you are a defensive midfielder, does not mean that your job is to sit in front of the defence.

Take Patrick Vieira for example.

One of the greatest midfielders to have ever played the game, he always played with someone behind him – Emmanuel Petit or Gilberto for Arsenal and Didier Deschamps for France.

That allowed Vieira to press forward, to bully players across the park. If he was the anchor, he would have to be more statics. Cleaning up rather than dominating.

Partey is in a similar mould.

You want the Ghanaian to have the freedom to press opponents regardless of where they are on the pitch.

Against Rapid Wein we saw this.

He would push forward, bullying players, with Mo Elneny playing behind him providing that cover.

Partey’s game is ready made for the Premier League.

In Partey and Gabriel Arsenal have made two big signings. Two players that we have missed for a decade.

A dominant central defender and an equally dominant central midfielder.

They are the men Edu now needs to build the team around for the next 5 years.

We might have finished the transfer window not adding the creativity we craved, but through Edu’s recruitment and Mikel Arteta’s coaching, we now look more defensively solid.

Once a manager has built that solid foundation, he will transition into a more attacking style of play.

Partey and Gabriel are Arsenal’s best signings in years.

We are looking good.


How terminating Mesut Ozil’s contract could free up money to buy the likes of Gabriel Magalhães

‘How would Arsenal make a saving by paying up Mesut Ozil’s contract?’ I saw for a few ask in response to John Cross’s article declaring that “Arsenal offer to pay off Mesut Ozil’s £18m contract to free up funds for new recruits”.

The question is a reasonable one that is worthwhile asking and exploring.

Were Arsenal to just pay off Ozil’s last year of his contract, it would save the club nothing. However if Arsenal can negotiate a pay off, they might be able to free up some cash even if they do end up paying the full value of the contract.

Arsenal could agree with Ozil that he defers some of his salary.

That he takes £10million now to cancel his contract and a further £8million in 12 months time. This would free up £8million in funds this summer, although reduce next summers funds by £8million.

‘But why would Ozil accept being paid late’ you ask. Another reasonable question.

By having his contract cancelled, Ozil would be free to join another side, and drawing a salary from them.

So he could pocket £10million now, sign a £6.5million a year deal with a Turkish side (£125k a week), and pick up a further £8million in 12 months time for Arsenal.

Instead of pocketing £18million over 12 months, he would be picking up £24.5million.

The advantage for Arsenal is it would immediately free up £8million to be invested elsewhere on wages and amortised transfer fees.

For £8million, Arsenal could pay a new signing £75,000 a week (£3.9m a year).

If they secure the new player on a 5 year deal, Arsenal could pay out a £20million transfer fee and amortise it over the length of the contract – meaning that Arsenal only “declare” 1/5 of the transfer fee each year the player is at the club.

So for 2020/21, that new player would cost Arsenal ~£7.9million (£3.9million in salary, £5million in amortised transfer fee).

It might not seem like much, but ending Ozil’s contract and kicking some of his wage down the road would allow Arsenal to sign someone like Gabriel Magalhaes – or the majority of his transfer and salary at least.

Of course, it would impact Arsenal’s transfer budget next season, but the hope would by then fans are back in the ground and Arsenal are back in the Champions League. At which point paying Ozil £8million for 2021/22 would not have the impact on finances it would now.

The other option that is widely known is that Arsenal “top up” his wages.

So lets say he joins Istanbul Basaksehir, who are after a marques player to replace outgoing Robinho, Arsenal would make up the difference between what the Turkish outfit are paying him and what he would have received from Arsenal.

So if he agrees a £125k a week deal with a side, Arsenal pay him £225k a week. The saving is still the same in £8million, but Arsenal would not need to pay him his contract in full. Just the difference.

The financial benefits of getting Ozil off the books are huge, and will allow Edu and Arteta to bring in additional players who and hungry, have the desire to play football and want to be here.

Note: Some will reply to this that “Ozil does not need to agree to end his contract or leave Arsenal”. Those people are right, but they are also not really Arsenal fans. They are more interested in defending Ozil then wanting what is best for Arsenal.