Rio Ferdinand has told his YouTube channel that the jury is still out on Gabriel Magalhaes after his performance and initial red card for Arsenal on Sunday.
The Gunners have extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table after winning 1-0. Bukayo Saka scored the only goal with a brilliant finish during the first-half.
But Mikel Arteta’s side absolutely rode their luck, particularly in the second-half. Leeds missed a penalty, had a goal disallowed, and were initially awarded another spot-kick in stoppage-time.
The decision came about after Gabriel kicked out at Patrick Bamford. Thankfully for Arsenal, replays showed that Bamford had made the first foul. And thus, the penalty was overturned. Nevertheless, Gabriel was fortunate to not make greater contact with the striker.
The Brazilian was initially shown a red card. But once it became clear that he did not make too much contact, the card was rescinded.
Ferdinand reacts after Gabriel was shown red card in Arsenal win
However, Arsenal fans may be a little concerned about Gabriel losing his cool. And Ferdinand admitted that he would be worried about the centre-back if he cannot keep control of his emotions in the heat of the battle.
“He’s performing. I think time will tell if he’s someone you want to stick by,” he told his YouTube channel. “I don’t like emotional defenders. That’s what I always say about centre-backs.
“I don’t like emotional ones that get caught up in the moment in games. They leave you at times with a man down and make mad decisions in the big moments. If he can grow out of that, you’ve got a good player there.”
Gabriel was fouled for the goal where Leeds thought they had equalised. He was in the air when Bamford leant into him. However, it was still not overly impressive from the former Lille man.
Given how inconsistent referee decisions can be, that goal may have been given on another day. It was not exactly a shove. Gabriel was not ready to be strong enough.
Gabriel has been absolutely outstanding throughout his time at Arsenal. There is a reason Arteta has used him as a partner for William Saliba throughout this season.
Arsenal are a very young side. And they are going to make mistakes as they continue to improve. Even the brilliant Saliba gave away a really poor penalty with a handball on Sunday.
Gabriel absolutely has the potential to become a world-class player. But with Ben White waiting in the wings, his form may come under the microscope in the weeks ahead.