Arsenal defender Gabriel has been ruled out of the Olympic games in Tokyo after suffering a knee injury, it has been confirmed.
The Gunners centre-back was rewarded for a positive first season in English football with a call up for the Selecao’s campaign in Tokyo.
However, after arriving at training on July 1, the 23-year-old complained of issues with his knee, with scans subsequently revealing he was suffering from joint swelling and tendonitis.
Brazil have since confirmed he will be replaced in Andre Jardine ‘s Brazil squad for the Olympics after his knee injury ruled him out of their preparation matches.
Gabriel made 32 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal last term and described the chance of playing for a gold medal as a lifelong ambition.
“A dream. That’s the word to describe this possibility,” he said (via Globo Esporte ).
“Representing the green and yellow shirt is always a source of pride and pleasure. Without a doubt it is a dream and also a goal.
“The generation that won in 2016 will be remembered forever. I hope to be able to write my name in history too.”
The injury could be good news for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta however, with the defender now hopefully available for their pre-season schedule.
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Gabriel is likely to play an even more pivotal role within Arteta’s squad next season following the departure of David Luiz.
The veteran defender left the club at the end of his contract, leaving Gabriel to contend with Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and William Saliba to compete for a berth in the heart of the defence.
Saliba is widely expected to leave the club on loan, with reports suggesting a move to Marseille could be on the cards.
Brighton star Ben White could arrive in a £50m transfer with Arteta keen to have a strong core of central defenders at the club.
“I just want a really strong core of defenders, central defenders, four to five,” the Arsenal boss said in January. “And then generate that competition and also that cohesion which is really necessary.
“A back four in my opinion needs that cohesion and the regularity of minutes to understand each other, to understand that communication, those relationships and we haven’t managed to do that in that period.”
Gabriel Martinelli remains in the Brazil squad and is likely to need an acclimation period when he returns to England, with the tournament potentially stretching until August 7.