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Football | Thursday, September 14, 2023 1:41 PM (Revised at: Monday, September 18, 2023 8:41 AM)

“Gabriel Magalhaes is a part of Arsenal´s strongest lineup”, says Silvestre

“Gabriel Magalhaes is a part of Arsenal´s strongest lineup”, says Silvestre
IMAGO / Icon Sportswire Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes (6) during the Soccer Champions Tour, Arsenal vs Barcelona

Arsenal got an important win just before the international break when The Gunners beat Man United 3-1 and we sat down with former Arsenal and Man United player Mikael Silvestre to talk about some of the hot topics around Arsenal.

Gabriel Magalhaes was an important figure in the Arsenal squad last season but he was left out of the starting lineup in the beginning of the season, but the centre back retired to the starting eleven against Man United.

During this interview, Silvestre shares his thoughts on the Brazilian defender, just as he also talks about their goalkeeper duel and Eddie Nketiah who was selected for Gareth Southgates England squad.

In this article:

Gabriel is a part of Arsenal’s best back four

The strong Brazilian defender returned, as mentioned before, to the starting eleven against Man United and Silvestre makes it clear that he believes he should be in the starting lineup for the future as well.

“For me he’s part of Arsenal’s current best back four alongside Ben White, William Saliba and Zinchenko.”

“Last year he had a good partnership with Saliba and this season shouldn’t be any different.”

“He’s aggressive, he wins his duels and on the ball he’s more than decent so in my eyes he’s one of the biggest assets defensively.”

It’s important to have a clear number one goalkeeper

Silvestre claims that a club would always prefer to have a clear number one in the goalkeeper position as doubt will make both goalkeepers a bit uncomfortable, however he believes that Arsenal has a very strong goalkeeper duo who could play regularly for most of the teams in the Premier League

“That’s the thing with goalkeepers. That’s the one area in which your No. 1 is established and the backup knows that he’ll be the backup this season.”

“Because you can’t have any grey areas with goalkeepers. They need to be fully confident that they’ve got the full backing of the manager. It’s very important because of the impact on their concentration levels – you can’t be thinking in the middle of the game that if I do bad or I miss something, I’m going to be on the bench next game.”

“You need to be fully confident that the spot is yours and you will be the number one choice. So it’s an interesting one and I hope it will play out successfully for the goalkeepers at Arsenal but it’s not an easy situation to deal with, I think, because they’re both good goalkeepers and can play in most of the teams in the Premier League.”

Eddie Nketiah has improved massively

With Gabriel Jesus out injured in the beginning of the season, Eddie Nketiah got his chance to prove himself, which he did impressively well and got called up for the England squad, which was natural according to Silvestre as Nketiah has improved a lot.

“Eddie Nketiah has been scoring and he doesn’t need as many chances as before.”

“When I watch the games and I’m thinking about his performances I believe that his conversion rate has improved. It’s improved that way.”

“I would expect him to continue at that level and that’s why I think he’s selected. Toney not being selected from Brentford opened up a space. Callum Wilson, I think Nketiah is ahead of these guys now.”

“It’s normal when you play for Arsenal, the England manager needs to have a closer look at which English players he can select from that team because they play well.”

Arsenal find their true rhythm soon

Arsenal haven’t exactly hit the ground running so far this season in comparison to last season. Yet, they sit only two points off league leaders Manchester City and there’s still so much football to play. Silvestre remains confident that once Arsenal have their strongest starting eleven available they will display the consistency of last season.

“They’ve shown resilience and belief in themselves and are growing as a team. The confidence is growing.”

“You can see in the behaviour of the team that they are confident so the consistency will come.”

“There have been some injuries and changes of personnel so once they get settled and the best eleven they will find their rhythm and show consistency.”

Arsenal should win their Champions League group

The Gunners will be playing their first Champions League game in six years as their last appearance in the competition was the Round of 16 in 2017 where they lost 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich.

Arteta’s men have been drawn into a relatively easy group as they’ll be up against Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven and RC Lens.

Silvestre, who won the 2007-08 Champions League title with Man Utd, says that Arsenal should win this group but the games will not be straightforward as all teams have the ability to surprise.

“No game is easy in that group. I think Arsenal should dominate but they have tough opponents. Not top teams, not PSG, not Real Madrid, not Bayern Munich.”

“They are tough games and they will have to be on the top of their game to win those games and win that group.”


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