Although the new Arsenal signing from Villarreal in Spain’s La Liga is known to be a versatile player, our manager has already spoken about him being an old school type of defender. Gabriel Paulista has played at both left and right back during his career, but he has clearly been brought to north London to play in central defence and that is what he loves to do.
The Brazilian has been speaking to Arsenal Player about it, revealing that like most kids in Brazil he started out playing football with an attacking sensibility. But once Gabriel was moved back into defence, he realised that, not only was he much better there, but that defending was what he loved to do.
The 24-year old also spoke about how one former Gunner, Gilberto Silva, was a big influence on him when he was growing up, while the defensive midfielder was playing for Arsenal and helping us to our famous invincibles season, as well as his many appearances in the middle for the Brazil national team.
Paulista cites Gilberto as a role model as well and claims that he always tries to replicate the work ethic, defensive solidity and putting the team first that made our former star such a good player.
He said, “I remember Gilberto Silva because he was always with the Brazilian national team.
“He was a mirror for every Brazilian player and every child, who looked up to Gilberto Silva as a reference. He was an influence for many players, not only Brazilians but players around the world.
“I could see that he was a major element here, he really helped the team, he really is a player I want to emulate because of his type of work and his will to help his team-mates, his will to win as a true Brazilian.
“To me he’s a mirror, so I will always take many good things I saw in him and take it to the pitch, and off the pitch as well, because I think he was an excellent professional who did many good things.
“I want to be like him, to be able to do the most I can to help everyone.
“There were always small teams close to where I used to live, where my family lived, and I started just as every other child – I was on the attack.
“But I never did well! I kept going back and back through the team, then I went to a club and they put me on the defence, and then I started playing there and it really excited me.
“Nothing would take me out of the defence now. Thanks to God, things worked out, and they have been working out in my life, and I think I will never change my position again!”
That’s fine by us Arsenal fans, as long as you do the job well. I for one cannot wait to see our latest Gunner get stuck into the opposing team’s attacking players. How about you?