Rio Ferdinand admitted that he judged Gabriel Magalhaes too quickly after the Arsenal summer signing scored in an impressive debut in a 3-0 win at Fulham in Saturday’s opener.
The Gunners signed Gabriel in a £25m deal from Ligue 1 side Lille in the summer transfer window as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta looked to improve a problem area in his team.
Gabriel survived an early scare when he appeared to suffer a miscommunication with Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno but Arsenal escaped unpunished from the incident.
Arsenal made the breakthrough in the ninth minute when France international Alexandre Lacazette broke the deadlock with a close range finish at Craven Cottage.
Gabriel rose above the Fulham defence to divert Willian’s corner into the Fulham net to score on his debut in the 49th minute to give Arsenal a cushion in the Premier League opener.
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended the Premier League clash as a contest when the Gabon international curled a finish past Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak.
BT Sport host Jake Humphrey revealed post-match that pundits Ferdinand and Peter Crouch weren’t impressed with Gabriel’s start to his Premier League debut before the summer signing changed their minds over the course of the 90 minutes.
And former Manchester United defender Ferdinand explained that he made a snap judgement on the Arsenal centre-half in the opening minutes before the Brazilian was able to settle into the game.
“Sometimes as an ex player we sit here and we make judgements on players quickly,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“As a player, if a new player comes into the changing room, you’ll see their first few touches and you might say they’re not for you.
“Players can grow on you and they can start to build.
“Today was a fine example of that. We were saying negative things based upon what we saw early on. We thought maybe it was same old Arsenal, buying a centre-half who doesn’t fit into the team. He was sloppy with his passing.
“You have to give people time. It’s a big ask, it’s a new country. He had a very, very good debut.
Arsenal will take on West Ham United at The Emirates on Saturday.
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