Gabriel Magalhaes looks like the real deal. At only 22 years old, he was the most confident player on the field as Arsenal defeated the stubborn and energetic Rapid Vienna.

This was a tough opening game in the Europa League: a journey to a brilliant team – backed by having actual fans in their stadium – of enough quality to cause discomfort.

The Austrians almost did exactly that, driving after the first half when Taxiarchis Fountas took advantage of Bernd Leno Narrow angle conversion error.

Jibril He can’t do anything to stop it, and he might feel a little sad that he didn’t come out with a clean sheet given his performance at night.

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Regardless , Arsenal Mission accomplished at the other end with David Louis Back to home draw and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang Kick-Off winner with 74 minutes played.

For all the experience Mikel Arteta’s team had – and the impressive appearance of Thomas Partey – it was Gabriel who caught the eye again, not mistaking much for the more experienced Louis’ side.

It looks like it’s all Arsenal has needed in defense for years. The Brazilian possesses physical strength and strength, but that doesn’t detract from his artistic ability. He completed 88% of his passes against Rapid, but he also won all four of his air duels.

He is not, like many Arsenal defenders of the recent past, a soft touch. In his case, traditional defensive values ​​are not sacrificed for the sake of technical excellence. He is a defender who reads the game beautifully and appears to have no apparent weaknesses.

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It is important not to get carried away, of course. At 22 years old, Gabriel is still learning, he is still developing, and in a few years, he will be a better player.

But the excitement is understandable. For a relatively inexpensive fee of £ 27m, Arsenal appears to have struck a central defender who has been able to perform at the highest level for years.

Gabriel is still a few weeks into his Arsenal career as well. This is a new team, a new league, and for such a young player, a difficult challenge.

It passes all test with flying colors. Against Manchester City last weekend, Gabriel was excellent, handling the smooth movement of the home team’s players all the time.

Rapid Vienna did not enjoy City’s attacking quality, but this was an example of Gabriel’s ability to adapt to various circumstances. He knocked the ball out from behind with strength and confidence – crucial to the Arteta system – and was always on the watch for counterattacks by the homeowners.

With Party Earning praise on his fully debut, and Aubameyang adding another goal to his tally from the bench, Arsenal now appears to have a strong spine in place.

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At her heart lies Gabriel, who is authoritative and unmistakably compliant, arriving from a summer night.

He is clearly an early talent, a player whose maturity is his youth. There’s no indication that a strong start will go to his head either.

Arteta has repeatedly insisted that his team is a work in progress, and that the transformation into an elite team will not happen overnight. This was evident against Rapid Vienna as Arsenal fought their way to victory.

But the early signs are starting to show. If Gabriel achieves his potential and continues at his exceptional form, this Arsenal squad could go for things greater than narrow wins in tough ties in the European League.