Arsenal’s new signing – Gabriel and BFG as partners?

Gabriel Armando de Abreu by JA

From Wikipedia – Born in São Paulo, Gabriel graduated from Esporte Clube Vitória’s youth setup, and made his senior debut on 7 March 2010, starting in a 3–1 win at Camaçari for the Campeonato Baiano championship. He made his Série A debut on 15 May, replacing Vilson in a 1–1 home draw against Flamengo.

In August 2010, Gabriel appeared in both matches of 2010 Copa do Brasil finals against Santos FC, but playing as a right back. He made his first team breakthrough in late 2011, and went on to play a crucial role in the following year, appearing in 35 matches as Leão returned to Série A.

On 6 September 2012 Gabriel signed a contract extension with Vitória, until 2016. He was elected the best central defender of 2013 Campeonato Baiano, being also crowned champions.

On 15 August 2013 Gabriel moved to La Liga outfit Villarreal, signing a five-year deal with the club. He made his debut in the competition on 10 November, starting in a 1–1 home draw against Atlético Madrid.

So Arsenal can finally boast four centre-backs within the range of ‘top quality’ to ‘promising’. The Official Villarreal twitter handle yesterday confirmed that an agreement in principal for Gabriel Paulista had been brokered with Arsenal FC, and last night Wenger himself said about the deal: “It’s on the line and I think we’ll get over the line tonight and tomorrow.” Its great news for Arsenal fans all over the world who will be pleased to know that we can finally boast four fully fit centre-backs.

So now the question is; Where does Gabriel play? The quick answer one will get (especially on Just Arsenal News) is “put Mertesacker on the bench”. It’s the most convenient answer anyway. But the truth is, we just can’t drop our BFG. We actually need to be looking for his replacement (we all know Paulista is a Koscielny type) Personally, I think Chambers cuts the mustard as Mertesacker 2.0, but there could be someone better out there.

In my view, our best centre-back partnership is Mertesacker and one of Paulista and Koscielny. Second best would be Chambers and one of the two. But I like a good debate. Let me hear from y’all.

Enjoy your week…


Tags Koscielny Mertesacker Paulista


    1. am i the only one who reckons paulista is related to lucio?

      they look like bloody brothers
      both no nonsense defenders- both brazilian- coincidence?

      i think not- mamma paulista got some explaining to do!

      1. Schneiderlin isn’t really necesseity anymore. Coquelin and Bielik should be our CDM’s for the next while, and trust me Lacazette may be better right now but Dybala will be better in the next 2 years.

    1. I’m loving the looks of Dybala, hope we snatch him up like the vultures Palermo’s boss say we are LOL…

  1. very important that we keep kos as rotated as possible until end of season as to not ruin him then the drs can access him for surgery or whatever he needs to make him better again.
    as for the summer i think one world class player in an attacking pos my be striker, i think we could see a big bid for draxler sometime in the next year, (maybe in this window if we get lucky could be a big surprise at the end of the week would make the window awesome) as wenger rates him top top top class talent, and thinks he could make him into the worlds next best striker maybe try and get him for £30 million instead.

    dream scenario
    3rd in league
    retain fa cup
    transfers of 1.draxler 2.bender/schniderlin/kondogbia 3.fakir//lacazette(and fakir are a double act that are lighting up the french league atm)/higuain
    this would take us to within touching distance of the c/l semis or even final if all bond in right COYG

  2. Hilarious!!
    Any combination that doesnt involve Per please!
    Yes he looks better when the defence and DM players are more organised around him but there will be times when we are chasing games and need to push men forward. This is when his lack of pace, touch and mobility is totally exposed. There will be times when a defender has to defend 1v1, Per simply can’t.
    Even his height is no longer an advantage as he seems to wimp out against the likes of Andy Carrol and Peter Crouch.

    Gabriel and Kos for me all day, (Chambers to be on the bench as back up now).

    1. Someone mentioned this in an older post though – that Kos/Merty partnership is pretty good. We’ve been talking about Ospina and Coq when is comes to clean sheets, but Kos and Per were were back there defending too. So why ruin a good thing?

      1. Agreed. Kos and Per do make a great partnership. I’m excited because there are games where we need pace at the back, and Per may not always be up to task. Although, I’ll give him credit where it’s due for his performance versus City. I don’t think the athleticism he displayed that game was expected. But, there are plenty of EPL teams that like the bruising style that dumps balls into the box. Per is made for that. Now we also have a quicker, versatile CB that can step in when we have to face speed. Great combo play. And as noted, Gabriel can spell Kos to make sure his health is maintained.

    2. I can understand the hype. But before Gabriel pull on an arsenal shirt and prove himself, he is only a backup. Per and Kos are still the first choice. I hope he will turn to a good buy, but he has to show his ability in training and his consistency in epl.

      Off topic: I Think we shall give szczesny a break. He is not in good form but ospina is not a convincing no1 yet., he probably only played 10 games so far. I think just the good results cover problems.

  3. I’m just happy to get another decent CB, that we desperately needed.

    Debuchy’s injury was a huge loss, but now Chambers and Bellerin can concentrate on RB.
    Gibbs and Monreal can concentrate on LB. I don’t like Monreal as CB.

    We should have got a CB and kept Jenkison in the summer, but later is better than never. Without Paulista it would have been difficult to get 3rd/4th place.

    Now in the summer we need a DM and Striker if we want to fight for 1st place

  4. Recently we have looked better with Mert on and Kosc hasn’t been his regular amazing self since his injury return, to be fair he was probably rushed back, so right now I would rotate Kosc and Gabriel, to protect Kosc and his tissue paper achiles and to phase Gabriel in.

    In the big games play Mert andKosc with Coquelin in front…

  5. If all fit we have a superb team, and an impressive bench.

    But still think we are crying out for a superstar striker! Its the difference between good, and title winners

    1. Tthe good thing though, is that we are finally getting the pieces we needed because Wenger finally realizes the pieces we needed. Who would’ve thought he would have finally gotten a DM and CB early in the January transfer window?

      Some may hate me for saying this, but I think something has clicked Wenger since that Stoke aftermath. Besides that Soton game, we’ve won every match. Just gotta keep those good vibrations going.

      1. Disagree on the timing of when you think something “clicked” with Wenger. But, hey, either way we cut, who cares. He’s doing what’s needed. I’m still disgusted at those fans that yelled at Wenger like that. I don’t want anything to do with them. And I’m not opposed to healthy debate and direct questioning on what, at times, has appeared to be Wenger’s bad decision making.

  6. I ask again, is this gabby guy better than BFG? Because if he is not then he’s a useless signing.

    We need to add quality in the squad, bring in players with better qualities than the ones we already have. Then that way we will be moving forward as a club.

    E.g look at the welbeck signing,he isn’t a better finisher than Giroud and we all knew this. Thats why he has been a terrible signing,he only added numbers to our squad and no quality.

    I really hope he’s better otherwise we celebrating in vain,before we know it we’ll be slamming him like BFG

    1. Giroud was never a bad finisher. I believe the complaints about him was his speed, energy level and running in behind.

      Welbeck is fast and does press well.

  7. Home match against Middlesbrough… not bad. They just took out City, so we’d be stupid to underestimate them. Let’s do this COYG!

  8. rvp quote today !!! “That is it really. I can’t look into the future. I don’t know what is going to happen after that. We shall have to wait and see.”

    come back to arsenal…….

    you can be the cheif cleaner for henry,s statue

    1. And when he is not cleaning the statue, he can go around selling peanuts to the crowd whilst apologizing for what he did.

  9. Either Preston or Sheffield Utd at home to either Cambridge or Man U.

    Liverpool or Bolton away to Palace

    Arsenal home to Middlesborough, pretty happy with the draw to be honest although I’d rather Liverpool and United got each other.

  10. lol, Liverpool away to Crystal Palace possibly… we all know how that’s going to end. Sanogo & Chamakh about to end LFC’s hope of another title

  11. Why not keep Per and Kos as pri partnership? When they have decent cover infront ofthem then they can do the job perfectly fine.

    This just means we have OPTIONS, not choices.
    The opposition plays a really fast front line? Kos and Gabriel…
    Sit deep and hit on the counter? Per and Kos.

    The variety in the EPL would in some ways aid the rotation as we could play players ideal for countering the opposition.

  12. Pleased we have Middlesborough at home, best make sure we are not planning any warm weather training with mid haul, late flights back 🙂
    Whoever plans the Man City logistics should get their ar*e kicked!

  13. Unless there’s an injury to BFG or Kos – we shouldn’t be seeing Gabriel in the first few weeks…he needs to build a partnership and understanding with both players. CBs play as pairs and a good understanding of who’s doing what and when is critical. That doesn’t happen overnight…minimum 3 weeks of training together to get some basic understanding.

    Then I guess it’s horses for courses…field the team you think is best suited the handle the opposition you’re facing. Against a Barcelona – you probably go with Gabriel and Kos….against a side which plays a uniquely tall striker then you’d probably go with BFG and Kos….against a side like Man Utd – probably Kos and Gabriel…

    could we see an evolution to 3 CBs at some point in the future? CC, Kos, GB….who knows!

    what i do know….things are looking good Gooners!

  14. Is Paulista 4x better than Reid?

    Sounds like we probably spent around 20m for him and might have been able to get Reid for 5m.

    15m could have gone a long way towards getting a striker/DM in the summer.
    Plus Reid is proven in the premier league.

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