Chelsea closing in on rising 21-year-old Ligue 1 starlet – Should they beat PL duo in the race?


Why Chelsea signing Gabriel Magalhaes is the right move for their defensive woes

According to ESPN (h/t Evening Standard), Chelsea are closing in on a move for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes ahead of Arsenal and Everton, who are also interested in him. Gabriel, 21, came through the ranks of Avai FC’s youth ranks in Brazil and moved to France with Lille in January 2017. After a couple of loan spells, he returned to the French outfit in the summer of 2018 and has been a regular in the heart of Lille’s defence since then.

Gabriel Magalhaes is one of Lille's most consistent players (Image credit: Google)
Gabriel Magalhaes is one of Lille’s most consistent players (Image credit: Google)

His impressive performances have also attracted interest from Arsenal and Everton, as per the report and now, his club are willing to sell him for £30m. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard has done a decent job in his first season in charge of the Blues despite having to do without several key players for the majority of the season due to injuries. The youngsters in the squad have been brilliant as they look set to continue for a long time. The attacking unit has done better so far, with Tammy Abraham leading the line in fashion. He is Chelsea’s top scorer with 13 league goals and if not for injuries, he would have scored plenty. The likes of Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James have also supported well in the attack.

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard has done a stellar job with Chelsea this season (Image credit: Getty)

However, while the attack has come to life, Chelsea’s defence has not been at its best. They have been shaky at the back and have already conceded 39 goals, which is the highest among the clubs in the top six. Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen have all been given their fair share of opportunities but none of them has done enough to claim the spot for themselves. Only after Antonio Rudiger returned did the Blues look better at the back. And apart from them, there are no other centre-backs available. Thus, a move for Gabriel Magalhaes would be sensible. The Brazilian has been in brilliant form for Lille throughout the campaign, forming a strong partnership with Portuguese international Jose Fonte at the back. In the 26 games he has featured, Gabriel has helped the French outfit keep 12 clean sheets as they are 4th in the Ligue 1 standings.

Gabriel Magalhaes (R) in action against PSG (Getty Images)
Gabriel Magalhaes (R) in action against PSG (Getty Images)

Gabriel has the ability to succeed at the highest level and would certainly bring his qualities to Stamford Bridge. He would provide the squad with much-needed depth and given his potential, he can form a strong partnership with Rudiger at the back.


The Brazilian is just 21 and has a lot of room for development. And if he is able to replicate the same form he has shown for Lille, he can go on to represent the Blues in the long run. Thus, a move for Gabriel is the best decision by the club and he would surely bring healthy competition to the squad.