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Why Mikel Arteta has held back new Arsenal signings Gabriel and William Saliba

William Saliba and Gabriel are yet to start alongside one another for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes has made an encouraging start to his Arsenal career, but eyebrows were raised when he was missing from the starting XI against Liverpool on Monday night.

The Brazilian centre-half won the man-of-the-match award following an impressive debut against Fulham on the opening weekend of the new season, despite having trained on only several occasions with his new team-mates.

Gabriel impressed again in the narrow 2-1 home victory against West Ham, but the return to full fitness of David Luiz saw the former Chelsea star’s Brazilian compatriot dropped to the bench at Anfield.

William Saliba, meanwhile, is still waiting to make his senior debut following his return from a loan spell at Saint-Etienne. The Gunners beat off strong competition to sign the French centre-half last summer, but were forced to return him to the Ligue 1 club as pat of the deal.

The 19-year-old, who was handed Arsenal’s iconic No.4 squad number, could make his bow in the Carabao Cup against Liverpool tomorrow having been an unused substitute in the same competition last…