Arsenal star revealed honest conversation with Mikel Arteta amid rumours of Emirates exit
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Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes opened up about a summer conversation he had with Mikel Arteta which convinced him to stay at the club.
The Brazilian has been central to the Gunner’s transformation from top-four hopefuls to genuine title contenders.
However, Gabriel's place came under threat at the start of the season upon the arrival of Jurrien Timber, with Arteta favouring Ben White at centre-back and Thomas Partey at right-back.
The experiment lasted just two games after Timber suffered a serious knee injury and Gabriel has since been back playing alongside William Saliba at centre-back.
Gabriel, who is set to make his 150th Arsenal appearance against West Ham on Sunday, revealed that a frank conversation with Arteta in the summer convinced him that his future remained at the Emirates.
"It was tough, obviously at the start. I wanted to play and it was very difficult for me but I understood what the coach had to do," Gabriel told PA news agency.
"It is difficult for any player to not be in the team but now I'm back in I want to keep on working hard to prove my worth.
"(Arteta) spoke to me and obviously explained the reasons behind the decision.
“Why I should stay - but the most important thing was to remain focused and concentrate - he knew how important I was to the team, so I'm happy to be back and to be able to help the team in every game.
"I'm happy to be back in the team and hopefully I can help them moving forward."
Ahead of the West Ham encounter the Gunners’ title chances was buoyed by a 3-1 win over Liverpool.
Meanwhile, the Irons have failed to win in six matches, being dispatched 3-0 by Manchester United last Sunday.