Arsene Wenger believes newest Gunner Gabriel Paulista has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League, but warned on Arsenal.com that he may take some time to settle in.
Gabriel made the switch to the Emirates this week after we agreed a deal with La Liga side Villarreal, with many tipping the 24-year-old to slot straight into the starting XI following his move.
Wenger remains cautious however, and stated that the Brazilian may need some time to adapt to the rigours of the English top flight.
“He has good pace, he’s good in the challenge and he’s tall – so he can adapt to English football,” the boss said.
“Maybe it will take some time to adapt completely, but overall it’s very good to have him.
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“He’s very ambitious, focused and serious. That’s important at a club like ours – you need to have a complete focus on your job. He has that.
“I like the players who come from nowhere and show they can adapt. From Brazil, he has [then] adapted to Spain. That means he has already made it and adapted in another country. That’s another important quality.
“We needed some cover, or we would not be responsible. [Gabriel] can play right back and left back, and that is of course a good quality as well.”
Even if our latest acquisition isn’t able to break the central partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker immediately, he is likely to see fairly regular football right from the word go given our squad is so regularly decimated by injury.
His versatility is no doubt a huge bonus in Wenger’s eyes, and with our injury record and lack of depth in certain areas, he is sure to be called upon sooner rather than later.
Most journalists and pundits have compared him to Laurent Koscielny, thanks to his pace and proactive tendency to step up and intercept passes, and he will likely act as backup for the Frenchman at first.
With Calum Chambers far more comfortable as the right sided centre back, and Mathieu Debuchy and Hector Bellerin decent right back options, the Arsenal defence looks the strongest it has appeared for a long time.