Paul Merson says ‘something is wrong’ as Mikel Arteta refuses to sign Gabriel Magalhaes for Arsenal.

The Sky Sports pundit says he “don’t know why” Mikel Arteta would end such an “effective” partnership created by Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba last season as he felt there was “more behind his exclusion from the starting eleven is stuck”.

In Arsenal’s first three Premier League games, it was Ben White who partnered with Saliba in defense rather than Gabriel. Merson added that the previous partnership “worked so well” 12 months ago, he told Sportskeeda.

Some feel that Arteta makes too many changes in the early stages of the season which resulted in them dropping points at home to Fulham last time out.

Another of them plays Thomas Partey at right-back, with Ian Wright urging the manager to bring back two players for Sunday’s game against Manchester United.

Anyway, Merson believes there is something going on behind the scenes between Gabriel and Arteta, which is why he continues to call for the £27million (Sky Sports) star to be left on the bench.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

“I think there’s something wrong with Gabriel Magalhaes,” Merson said

“I don’t understand why Mikel Arteta should break up the effective central defender pairing Gabriel and William Saliba. It worked so well for her last season.

“So I think his exclusion from the starting XI is more than just a matter of team selection.”

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Will Gabriel return to Man United game?

There will be Arsenal fans, among others, who are asking for the move and indeed their wish may come true as Oleksandr Zinchenko is also back.

In the early stages of the season, Arteta wasn’t able to field the players he would have liked for the reversed full-back role, with Zinchenko just returning from injury and Jurrien Timber out on a long-term basis.

That forced Arteta to use Partey at right-back, use an unnatural player at left-back because Kieran Tierney was also on loan and then didn’t help himself by also making a move to centre-back.

Either way, the quicker he gets back to typing, the easier it will be for him and his players.

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