Arsenal have yet to wrap up the transfer deal to bring Gabriel Paulista from his La Liga club Villareal to the Emirates and the Premier League, but everything points to it happening in the next few days. The Brazilian player, his current coach Marcelino and even Arsene Wenger have admitted to the talks going on and that seems to be that, as far as I’m concerned.
The only real problem for me is this work permit thing but I reckon Wenger and his backroom staff must be very confident in order to take things this far. I know I might be jumping the gun, but I assume that Paulista will be a Gunner by the beginning of February and while I did not really know too much about him before, I think he is the perfect signing for us this month.
First of all he is a central defender and we badly need cover in this area, but he is also versatile and has played at both right back and left back with Villareal and his former club in Brazil, Vitoria, so that gives the boss great options. He has the reputation for being fast and powerful as well as good in the air and he is said to be a great reader of the game with the technical ability you would expect from a Brazilian.
Paulista was also voted the best centre back in the Brazilian championship before moving to Spain in 2013 and he made an instant impact for his new club. Paulista has now become their best defender and the major reason for them going 15 games unbeaten. No player has started more games for Villareal this season and the club are up to sixth with only Barcelona and Real Madrid having conceded less.
Also, while Paulista is undoubtedly talented, he is not a big name signing like Hummels and so will not demand to go straight into the staring line-up. So while Koscielny and the BFG keep doing the business, they will keep their places and there should be no disruption to the dressing room.
Add to that the fact he is just 24-years old and still learning and you can see just why Wenger has identified Paulista as the perfect player to boost the Arsenal defence.