We have all heard about how tough it can be for a player coming to a club like Arsenal, or any of our Premier League rivals for that matter, and having to adapt to the way that football is played in England. The rigours of the Premier League are famous, where any club can beat any other on their day and the pace and physicality can be a huge shock to players from other countries.
Then there is the matter of not having a winter break and you can understand why the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla who hit the ground running are probably rarer than the likes of Mesut Ozil that take some time to settle in.
For players that do not even speak English and are not even from Europe, the culture shock can be as difficult as the difference on the pitch, but the Gunners’ new Brazilian centre back Gabriel, who had only played 50 games for La Liga club Villarreal after leaving his home in South America, has not suffered any of these problems, as an interview on the Arsenal website shows.
The 24-year old defender said, “My biggest problem is just speaking but in terms of settling, I am totally adapted here at the club and with my team-mates, who are all wonderful and friendly.
“It’s a family club. Everyone that works at the club is respectful and very attentive, they are always at your disposal.
“So I am very happy and so is my family. My wife and my son are happy. If my wife and my son are happy I feel even happier, and it gives me more strength and more will to work.”
The way Gabriel’s career has gone through the gears and the performances that Arsenal fans have already seen on the pitch since his January transfer, combined with his easy going nature and adaptability off the pitch is very good news for his new club and suggests to me that we are going to have a real star on our hands.
Can he and Koscielny give Arsenal the platform to really bring back the glory days back to north London?