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How Arsenal could line up with Gabriel Magalhaes

Sports Mole looks at how Arsenal could line up next season if they are able to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

With William Saliba having already arrived at the Emirates Stadium ahead of next season, you would be forgiven for thinking that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta would now focus his attention on other areas of the pitch.

However, if reports are to be believed, the Spaniard is eager to complete a deal for Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes in the coming weeks.

While only making 52 appearances during his two seasons at the French outfit, the Brazilian has helped the club establish themselves in the top four of the Ligue 1 standings.

Lille have already acknowledged that the 22-year-old will move to another club during the summer transfer window, with Everton and Napoli among the teams known to be in the running.

Nevertheless, it appears increasingly likely that Arsenal will win the race to sign Gabriel for a fee in the region of £27m.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at where the player could feature in Arteta's starting lineup.

ARSXI with Gabriel Magalhaes

With Arsenal likely to go into the new campaign with at least six players who can play in the middle of the backline, it suggests that Arteta has plans to stick with a 3-4-3 formation.

Providing that David Luiz remains in North London, the veteran Brazilian is expected to retain his place in the centre, potentially with William Saliba being used to the right of him.

That would leave Gabriel to slot in on the opposite side, something which would allow Kieran Tierney to revert to familiar territory at wing-back.

Should Arsenal take the decision to part ways with Luiz, Gabriel would be a contender to take his spot, leaving Pablo Mari, Shkodran Mustafi or Rob Holding to be brought into the first XI.

Although there will likely be occasions when Arteta prefers to go with a back four, it would come as a surprise if Gabriel was the player to drop out of the team.

On the assumption that Arteta would be against a youthful two-man partnership with Saliba, Gabriel would likely line up with the more experienced Luiz or Mustafi.

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Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka compete for the ball in the Premier League on January 21, 2020.
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