Gabriel Paulista has been described by Thierry Henry as a special talent and why not; he is 24 years old, over 6 foot and was part of a Villareal team with one of the meanest defences in Spain. Only time will tell how vital Paulista was to Villareal, or whether he was a passenger riding on the brilliance of others (there should be red flags raised at how willing Villareal were willing to let him go).
He has the ability to play in any position across the back four, but is more comfortable as a centre back. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny seem to have rediscovered their form however, and I don’t see Wenger breaking up such a formidable partnership.
While Kieran Gibbs is the undisputed first choice at left-back, Nacho Monreal has proved quite useful this season; covering for both he and Koscielny when one is unavailable through injury.
The main headache for Wenger recently has been the right back position, with Mathieu Debuchy facing another long spell on the sidelines. The Frenchman’s injuries have forced the boss to turn to two youngsters who, it has to be said, have done a superb job. Clum Chambers is still a bit rash in his tackles, which in turn puts pressure on the defence. After a shaky start however, Hector Bellerin has been an absolute revelation. He has putt in assured displays when called upon, and has shown wisdom and experience well beyond his years.
Both Chambers and Bellerin need games to improve, but with the acquisition of Gabriel Paulista they could see their time on the pitch reduced. He is still quite young at 24-years-old, so Chambers and Bellerin cannot just bide their time.
- Arsenal turn to ‘one-goal’ striker with Vlahovic transfer unlikely
- Arsenal anger as Aubameyang holds out for ‘giant’ transfer
- Arsenal 0-0 Burnley player ratings: Gunners lose ground on top four
If he is utilised at right-back, then Paulista will surely still have to play second fiddle to Debuchy when he returns from injury. This puts Bellerin and Chambers even further down the pecking order. This is a headache Wenger will welcome any day.