Arsenal-target Gabriel Magalhaes is just a cheaper version of Dayot Upamecano

Gabriel Magalhaes is the Cheaper Version of Dayot Upamecano. by AI

Dayot Upamecano has the makings of a truly elite aggressor. He dives into tackles and wins them, bullies opposition attackers, and wants to intercept the ball. He oozes bags of confidence on the pitch. He never seems in doubt of his options. He maintains that permanent aura of born royalty. When you see him play, you think of Sergio Ramos or Virgil Van Dijk. And that is why Leipzig rejected our 55 million euro offer for him last season. They know they have got the real deal.

Enter Gabriel Magalhaes as Arsenal’s second choice for that role.

Aggressive in the tackle. Physically strong. Great at dealing with crosses and high balls and one of the best passing defenders in France, he is a cheaper version of Dayot Upamecano.

If you are a team that wants to push up the pitch and put your opponents under permanent pressure, you need a Dayot Upamecano.

Or a Virgil Van Dijk.

Or a Sergio Ramos.

You see where this is going?

Or a Shkodran Mustafi.

Or a David Luiz.

You see it yet? These are centrebacks that are aggressive-progressors: they are physically dominant, victorious in the tackle, great passers of the ball from the back, and don’t shy away from a physical contest.

These types of central defenders are needed in high-pressure teams that like playing in the opponent’s halves. Why?

First of all, if you are going to be so high up the pitch, then it must mean there must be space behind you and the opponent know this. Therefore, they want to play through passes for their attackers to run onto, or to a player who will hold the ball and lay it off like Oliver Giroud.

To deal with through passes, you need defenders who are aggressive and can intercept the ball. An interception has the added advantage of sustaining your attacking pressure once the defender passes. If the pass gets through and a player is running towards the goal, you need defenders who are speedy enough to keep up and strong enough to physically unsettle the attacker. Even better if they can catch up. Think Van Dijk.

To deal with them having players like Oliver Giroud, your defenders must be physically strong enough to unsettle him so that he cannot make a clean layoff and turn around.

Sergio Ramos and Virgil Van Dijk are perfect examples. They can pass, intercept, keep up, physically dominate, and head the long balls away. Every team that wants to play really good, expansive football must have these kinds of defenders.

Arsenal have two in Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz, but those two are very bad at decision-making. Despite that, Mikel Arteta has no option than to use them. Upamecano would be the perfect target. He seems to be the heir to Van Dijk and Sergio Ramos’ throne, but he is going to be very difficult to acquire. Hence Gabriel Magalhaes.

For his talent and quality, Gabriel is an exceptionally good buy and Arsenal will be hoping that he develops into the player they want.



  1. he is a good buy but he needs time to settle and adapt….

    if he trains and play hard …he can be a quality player

    extra pressure from friends will do him no good

  2. At least his arrival will mean we don’t have to rely on the suicidal defending of David Luiz! Now, I’ve never seen Gabriel play but on YouTube he does look good so I have a good feeling about this signing.

    1. Don’t give me that, QD, you love those heart in mouth moments every time the ball is at Luiz’s feet 😂

      We have a decent pairing in the making now then with Gab/Saliba 😉

      1. Hehe, I had enough of those moments! I’ve seen both Saliba and Gabriel are above 6’3. This is excellent as we shall have some big guys strong in the air. I hope none of the turns out to be a gentle giant like Mertesacker.

        1. QD, THIS WON’T HAPPEN. I happen to know that when they go walking in Trafalgar Square they are NOT overtaken by Nelsons Column, unlike Merts who must be the slowest ever pro player in our club. Or anywhere else too! I could never accept him as a REAL player for this very reason.

  3. Cheaper, yes, when it comes to money. But better. Faster, better tackler, better in the air. Upa is very overrated. Slow, clumsy, with a big heavy butt. Good in the game against Atletico (without Partey), but “revealed” against PSG.

  4. I don’t think Gabriel is a cheaper version of Dayot.. I think he is a better player only time will tell though because they say the grass looks greener on the other side but people on the other side say the same thing too.. I think Gabby will peak with Arsenal.. and MA what a goal getter this actually feels like a transfer window for Arsenal.

  5. Tierney, Gabriel, Saliba and Max Aarons (if bought from relegated Norwich City) , plus Mari, Mavropanos (if he returns from loan) and Holding (if not sold) is Arsenal building for the future.

    1. Max Aarons would be great. Aarons and Tierney could be the Dixon/ Winterburn for the 20s, but with Lee as LWB and Nigel on the right side.

  6. Hope AFC make the announcement of
    Gabriel soon. Should get into team training without wasting any more time. Whatever be it, the process has to speed up.

  7. Upamecano is in a league of his own.

    These unnecessary expectations placed on new players out of desperacy is what makes them fail.

    When they come to Arsenal and buy into the back passing sh**t, then people start complaining of poor recruitment.

  8. My mind is still telling me that Mari will be our best defender this season. Tall, technical, can read the game well and also good with the ball. Time will tell.
    May God not let this Gabriel be like our former Brazilian Gabriel.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs