Arsenal goalscorer Gabriel Magalhaes was withdrawn early in Saturday’s win over Southampton, and Mikel Arteta has explained why.
Gabriel Magalhaes has been one of Arsenal’s few consistently strong performers this season, and Saturday’s match against Southampton was no exception.
The centre-back picked up a yellow card in the first three minutes, but he was his usual self after that, proving a formidable opponent to the Saints’ forwards.
In the second half, Gabriel suddenly found himself becoming the team’s biggest goal threat. He had one goal ruled out for offside, scored another with a towering header from a corner, and even connected well with a bicycle kick.
Then he was taken off in the 69th minute, raising some fears he might have an injury. Fortunately, Mikel Arteta allayed those concerns in his post-match interview.
“He had a booking so I decided to take him off,” Arteta explained, confirming there was no injury.
That was a smart decision, considering Arsenal have a big game against West Ham coming up on Wednesday.
The Gunners won 2-1 against West Ham with Gabriel in the team last season, and they drew 3-3 without him, so they’ll want him available.
Michail Antonio is one of the form strikers in the league right now, so Arteta’s side can’t go into the game with a handicap.