Nicolas Pepe's greatest assist? Arsenal stealing Gabriel Magalhaes from under Everton's nose proving key to Gunners' title bid

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Gabriel Magalhaes could have been lining up against Arsenal for Everton on Wednesday had things worked out differently three years ago as he prepared to leave Lille. The centre-back had passed a medical ahead of a proposed summer move to Goodison Park, only for the coronavirus pandemic to suddenly delay his switch to Merseyside.

With football shut down, the transfer wasn’t finalised and just a few months later, Arsenal arrived on the scene looking to get a deal done.

It was then up to Gabriel to make a decision, and with Nicolas Pepe, who had been a team-mate of the centre-back at Lille, playing a key role, the defender opted for north London.

Everton’s loss has certainly been Arsenal’s gain, with Gabriel having gone on to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s best defenders since his move in September 2020.

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