Tim Vickery believes it is ‘not a good sign’ for Gabriel Magalhaes that Tite elected to leave the Arsenal centre-half out of his final Brazil squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
BRAZIL SNUB ‘NOT A GOOD SIGN’ FOR WORLD CUP HOPES OF ARSENAL STAR GABRIEL
South American football expert Tim Vickery has noted in his column for ESPN that Gabriel Magalhaes should be concerned that Tite opted to omit the Arsenal defender from his last Brazil squad in preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this November and December.
The Selecao will face Ghana and Tunisia in friendlies on September 23 and 27, as the five-time record World Cup winners prepare for the 22nd edition of the Fifa tournament. The encounters could have been the perfect opportunities for Gabriel, but one he will not get.
Tite has elected to leave Gabriel at Arsenal, and instead call up Juventus enforcer Gleison Bremer and Roma star Roger Ibanez for the first time. Their presences in the Selecao unit left no space for the Gunners star, who was a favourite for a seat on their plane to Qatar.
Gabriel had broken through like Bremer and Ibanez to earn his maiden call-up in 2021 for Brazil’s November fixtures. Tite again included the 24-year-old in his side this January and February, too, but at no point did he elect to introduce the Sao Paulo native into a match.
So, September’s meetings with Ghana and Tunisia could have seen Gabriel debut and put his case front and centre to possibly even start in Qatar. He is a mainstay of Mikel Arteta’s unit at Arsenal with starts in all six Premier League games this season, but it is not enough.
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Gabriel has been a consistent and assured presence in Arsenal’s defence so far this season – even if his efforts were not enough to stay in Brazil boss Tite’s good books. He has dealt with danger in the air regularly and made vital clearances during some dominant displays.
Now, though, with Bremer and Ibanez possibly moving ahead in the Selecao shortlist for a centre-back spot, Gabriel faces a potentially frustrating verdict for the World Cup in Qatar.
“With his left foot and his leadership qualities, Gabriel Magalhaes had looked like a lock for the fourth centre-back spot,” Vickery wrote.
“But there are first call-ups for two Italy-based players, Bremer of Juventus and Ibanez of Roma. Magalhaes has not yet had an opportunity to play, but he has been part of the squad. Has Magalhaes definitely been overtaken by the two newcomers?
“Before the call-up it might have been thought that these friendlies were the ideal opportunity for Tite to have a look at him in a match situation. To be left out at this stage is not a good sign.”