The one key area Arsenal have outsmarted Manchester United on with Gabriel transfer

Gabriel Magalhaes hasn’t even walked through the door at the Emirates Stadium yet.

The 22-year-old is expected to be announced as an Arsenal player very soon having completed a medical ahead of a £25million move from Ligue 1 side, Lille.

However, the arrival of the left-footed centre-back could soon be compared to a very similar player in terms of profile. Manchester United, who were initially also keen on the Brazilian, have been forced to look elsewhere and reportedly had a £22million bid for Benoit Badiashile rejected as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side also look to find a left-footed central defender ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

The comparisons don’t stop there, though, with both defenders boasting experience in Ligue 1 from a young age.

Gabriel, 22, is three years older than a 19-year-old Badiashile but both defenders have only registered meaningful minutes in Ligue 1 since the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign. Such a similar sample of time on the pitch can, therefore, tell us more about the potential signings and maybe suggest who is getting the better deal.

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So, how do they compare by numbers since the start of the 2018/19 campaign?

While we get on to more technical and progressive attributes later, it is worth starting with defensive output. Defending in a possession-based team often requires different strengths which will be explained below with regard to defensive metrics.

In terms of defensive abilities, both defenders rank more or less identically across the 55 matches they have played respectively.

Badiashile registers marginally more interceptions per 90 minutes at 5.45 with Gabriel totting up 5.27 but the soon to be Arsenal defender performs better in terms of percentage of aerial duels won at 67.49% compared to 64.29% .

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