Gabriel pulls out of Brazil squad due to injury; what that means for Saliba?
Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhães has withdrawn from Brazil’s Olympics Squad due to a knee injury.
The 23-year-old defender has been suffering from tendinitis, which is a condition where the connective tissues between muscles and bones (tendons) become inflamed.
It is certainly a cause of concern and remains to be seen for how long the Brazilian will be sidelined for.
Brazil were due to play their first match on 22nd July. While the final of the tournament was to be played on August 7th. That certainly would have acted as a pre-season for Gabriel.
Gabriel has been ruled out of the Olympics with a knee injury. Unclear yet exactly how long he could be sidelined for. pic.twitter.com/Y2lFQedqpk
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) July 7, 2021
With potential signing Ben White likely to take a delayed break due to his participation in the ongoing European Championship, Arsenal will only be left with Rob Holding and Pablo Mari as two fully-fit senior centerbacks, with Calum Chambers as a back-up.
But what if Pablo Mari ends up leaving for Besiktas?
Spanish ‘AS’: Besiktas are interested in signing Arsenal’s defender Pablo Mari
— Osman 🎗 (@OsmanZtheGooner) July 6, 2021
That is hardly an ideal start to the league campaign, especially the pressure that is on Mikel Arteta to dramatically change Arsenal’s league position next season.
But a heartbreak for one can be a delight for another. Gabriel’s injury might mean that the Gunners decide on keeping William Saliba at the Emirates Stadium.
It has been already reported that Marseille’s coach Jorge Sampaoli, who Saliba has been in constant talks with, prefer Luan Peres of Santos rather than the young Frenchman.
Gradually, stars have started aligning for Saliba’s career at Arsenal. Although things can again change suddenly, I would be hoping that the 20-year-old stays in London for the next campaign.
Saliba can be a direct replacement for Gabriel, as he had played as a left center-back for French club Nice as well as St. Etienne.
This is the first time I have had some positive feelings about a player (Gabriel in this case) getting injured.
And if there is any concrete base on the reports stating that Mari will be open to joining Turkish club Besiktas, then keeping Saliba makes even more sense.