Gabriel Magalhaes’ position in Arsenal’s starting 11 could be in jeopardy.

Although the thought is that Jurrien Timber is in line to take over the right-back spot or the right spot in central defense, there’s speculation he could force himself into Arteta’s defense as William Saliba’s central defensive partner.

William Saliba is undroppable at the right side of Arsenal’s central defense, and White, after a perfect summer rest, may make himself undroppable at right back. As for Gabriel, yes, he’s been played more and was undroppable last season, playing all 38 Premier League games. He was calling the shots when Saliba was injured, but even so, he had his fair share of errors and mistakes. Problems that Gabby Aghbonlahor says the Brazilian should avoid, or else he may find himself benched by Timber, whose brilliance we’ve been singing ever since he fell onto Arsenal’s radar.

“I think for the start of the season, Gabriel should keep his place,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.

“When they played him with Saliba at the start of the season, they were both phenomenal. He has got the odd mistake in him, Gabriel, but even with a mistake, he is better than Holding.

“But bringing in Timber really puts the pressure on him. It says, First mistake, and you’re out.

“We can’t afford for you to do your trademark conceding a penalty, your trademark lack of concentration—because these are the big boy competitions.


“The Champions League is tough every single week. It’s going to be a case of one mistake, and Gabriel is out.”

There are questions about whether it is realistic to think Timber could play in Gabriel’s position. The graph below shows that he has featured as a left-sided defender in 5% of his minutes at Ajax since the 2019–20 season. That’s not a new position for him, but we will have to see if it’s something Arteta will consider.


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