Gabriel was left out of the starting lineup for Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace last night, having also been on the bench for the opening day win against Nottingham Forest.
Though he came on as a substitute in both matches, the Brazilian’s omission from the Forest game ended a run of 72 consecutive Premier League starts for a player who has been central to the Gunners’ revival under Arteta.
The Spaniard has instead switched Ben White inside to partner William Saliba centre-back, with Thomas Partey used as the nominal right-back with licence to step into midfield.
Gabriel is reportedly the subject of interest from Saudi side Al Ittihad but asked whether that situation had anything to do with the 25-year-old being dropped, Arteta said: “Nothing at all.
“It’s about the games that we were expecting, what I was expecting, how we wanted to defend and attack and our belief it was the best thing.
“He’s played in both games, he’s helped us to win both games for different reasons. He was really good today, he absolutely dominated the box. He’s going to play a lot of games. That’s the decision sometimes.”
Pressed specifically on whether Arsenal would entertain any offers from Saudi for the player, Arteta confirmed they would not.