Gabriel Magalhaes has built a strong partnership with fellow Arsenal centre-back William Saliba

London (AFP) - Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League leaders on Friday.

Gabriel agreed the extension after talks with his agent and Arsenal’s senior staff at their training base on Friday.

The 24-year-old joined from Lille in 2020 and has made 81 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions, scoring nine goals.

He has emerged as a key figure in Arsenal’s defence during their unexpected rise to the top of the Premier League this season.

Only Newcastle have conceded fewer than the 10 goals allowed by Mikel Arteta’s side this season as Gabriel builds a strong partnership with fellow centre-back William Saliba.

“Gabi has shown huge qualities since he joined us. He is a young player with a great work ethic and his consistent strong performances have been hugely important to us over the past two seasons,” Arteta said.

“Working with Gabi every day is a pleasure, he has formed strong relationships with everyone at the club and we’re so pleased that he has committed to us on a long-term contract.”

Setting his sights on winning major honours with Arsenal, Gabriel added: “It’s my dream and today is the best day of my life. I’m so happy to extend my contract here.

“Every game the supporters are pushing the team in the stadium. It’s why I’m so happy to stay here. Arsenal is my home.

“In the future, I want to win games for Arsenal, I want to win trophies with Arsenal and stay here for a long time because it’s my home.”

Gabriel’s contract is the first in what Arsenal hope is a long line of players committing their futures to the club.

Bukayo Saka recently said he shares Arteta’s hope that he will soon agree a fresh deal, with Gabriel Martinelli and Saliba also linked with new contracts.