Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Gabriel Paulista will be available for our trip to Old Trafford, with the Brazilian centre-back recovering from his hamstring injury to make his return to the squad, as reported by the Metro.
Gabriel surprisingly missed our clash with Leicester City, with Per Mertesacker reclaiming his starting spot. The 25-year-old looked to have displaced the German, with Wenger opting not to bring Mertesacker straight back after his red card against Chelsea. An untimely injury may have cost Gabriel though, and he may now have to wait for his chance again.
It seems unlikely that he’ll be put straight back into the side, and Wenger is more likely going to ease him back in. Mertesacker therefore probably has another game or two to show he deserves to start alongside Laurent Koscielny, with the first game being a big one at Old Trafford.
Wenger claims he might be fit enough to start, but that doesn’t mean Wenger will necesarily give him that start.
“He is coming back into the squad tomorrow,” confirmed Wenger.
“We will see how he responds to that but the signs are positive.
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“He might be available [to start] on Sunday.”
Gabriel has arguably already shown that he’s more suited to our game than Mertesacker, with many Arsenal fans hoping to see the former Villarreal man replace the World Cup winner on a more permanent basis.
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He’s definitely got a future as our first choice centre-back, but he’s still got a lot to learn and for the moment may have to settle for a rotation role.