In a recent revelation, Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United legend, opened up about his online altercation with Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes. The 25-year-old defender found himself sent to the bench for Arsenal‘s first three Premier League games this season amidst transfer rumors.
Since joining Arsenal in 2020, Gabriel had become a key figure in Mikel Arteta’s plans, featuring in 98 out of 117 Premier League games. However, he has recently been dropped, and Ferdinand believes this demotion is linked to Gabriel’s susceptibility to errors.
Gabriel didn’t take lightly to Ferdinand‘s criticisms and DM’ed him on social media. Ferdinand spoke about the exchange on his YouTube channel, saying,
I said that last year and he didn’t like it, he DM’d me.
Ferdinand went on to criticize the current generation of players for their inability to handle constructive criticism.
This is a big thing, for me, with players today, they can’t take criticism. Yes, he [Gabriel] came direct to me, which I respect. But, at the same time, I don’t think he saw what I was saying.
Gabriel’s Arsenal future uncertain
While Gabriel‘s future at Arsenal remains uncertain, with interest from Real Madrid and Saudi Pro League clubs, many fans anticipate his return to the starting lineup for Arsenal’s match against Manchester United. Arteta, on the other hand, insists that Gabriel’s absence has been for tactical reasons, clarifying in a press briefing last week:
It’s about the games we were expecting, that I was expecting, and how I wanted to defend and attack and what I believed was the best thing.
Whether the absence is strategic or a sign of pending transfer remains to be seen, with a couple days left in the transfer window the Gunners could be in for a busy final stretch.