Arteta reacts to Gabriel debut after he was forced to play new signing

Gabriel Magalhaes enjoyed a dream Arsenal debut with a clean sheet and a goal in their 3-0 win over Fulham.

The Brazilian, snapped up from Lille after a lengthy transfer chase, was an imposing presence defensively and barely put a foot wrong.

He overcame an early miscommunication with Bernd Leno to settle into English football and vindicate his selection, grabbing the second goal from a set piece.

He started after injuries ruled out David Luiz and Sokratis whilst William Saliba is still getting up to speed.

Before the game, manager Mikel Arteta suggested he was reluctant to play Magalhaes but had no choice but to throw him into the side.

Arteta told BT Sport: “Everybody says we have a lot of central defenders, but we have a lot of issues in recent weeks.

“He needs to start today, he’s been preparing really well, so hopefully he will be fine.”

Speaking after the game, Arteta gave huge praise to his new signing.

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He said: "They've been training really well. To be fair for Gabriel, it was a big challenge to come into this small ground in the Premier League.

"I think he didn't play for six months with everything that happened in France. For the new boys more than any it was really good today."

Magalhaes made his debut alongside fellow new Brazilian signing Willian.

Asked about the pair ahead of the game, Arteta said: "They've been training really well. They've been adapting quickly, they are really excited to be here with us. Really good energy from both. Big talents, both in very different phases of their careers.

“Someone [Willian] that is already very established in the Premier League with an incredible quality and another one [Gabriel] that has to adapt to this league but has huge potential to become a key player for us in the future.”

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