Few would question you for speaking highly of Gabriel Paulista this season, as the Brazilian has continued to improve and has been in fine form. Would you believe that we are yet to concede a goal in the Premier League while he’s on the pitch though? Well it’s true, according to The Independent.
Despite a couple of shaky moments last season, Gabriel looked an excellent signing when he arrived from Villarreal this past January. He appears to have all the attributes necessary to thrive in the Premier League, and has really shown his quality when given a chance this season.
Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny looked to still be Arsene Wenger’s first choice pairing at the start of the campaign, but illness and injury respectively have kept the more experienced pair out for several games. This gave Gabriel his chance, and he unquestionably grabbed it with both hands.
The 24-year-old has been superb whenever he’s been given an opportunity, highlighted by the fact we are yet to concede while he’s on the field.
Defensively we’ve been pretty solid so far this season, with a handful of individual errors the main issue. We got off to a shaky start against West Ham – Petr Cech’s uncharacteristic errors leading to a 2-0 loss – but improved slightly after that. We conceded one against Crystal Palace in our 2-1 win, two against Chelsea after Gabriel was sent off, and two against Leicester in our 5-2 win.
Gabriel was absent for all those games (at least when the goals were conceded), and we’ve kept clean sheets in every other game he’s been involved in.
You could obviously argue that the team as a whole played far better in the games against Manchester United and Stoke City for example, but Gabriel certainly played a large part.
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Hopefully he continues to improve and keep our opponents out, as a strong defence is key to a successful title push.