Mikel Arteta drops major team news hint on dream Arsenal pairing ahead of Man City trip – football.london – Football.London

Arsenal fans will have to wait a little while longer to see the dream centre-back pairing of Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes.

The former is currently out of action after testing positive for Covid-19 which saw him miss the Chelsea and West Brom games over the past week, and remains a doubt to face Manchester City on Saturday.

Even if White is passed fit to make his second competitive appearance for Arsenal following his £50million summer transfer, he is unlikely to be lining up alongside Gabriel at the Etihad Stadium despite a positive update on the Brazilian.

Having missed this summer’s Olympic Games as well as pre-season with a knee injury, the good news for the Gunners is that the 23-year-old is nearing a return to first-team action.

“He’s getting closer,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said in his pre-match press conference on Thursday morning. “He’s had a couple of sessions with the team.

“But we don’t know let’s see tomorrow how he is.”

It wasn’t revealed at the time, but Gabriel was named in the Arsenal U23’s side that took on their north London counterparts Tottenham Hotspur in a Premier League 2 clash on Friday afternoon.

Perhaps that is what Arteta was alluding to when he said ‘let’s see tomorrow how he is’.

Furthermore, that is a major hint with regards to Gabriel’s potential involvement against Man City as it’s almost certain he won’t start the game given he’s only just returned from injury.

Although, he could be on the bench if he comes through the Spurs game unscathed.

As a result, it could be the Norwich City game after the international break where Arteta can finally unleash what is considered his best centre-back pairing.

For many Arsenal fans, Pablo Mari is not the ideal partner for White – who will be the first-choice right-sided centre-back as the season progresses – given his struggles in pre-season and against Chelsea last weekend.

Gabriel being left-footed, quicker and more aggressive than the Spaniard makes him the better option to play alongside White and this particular pairing could soon be unleashed.

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