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Arsene Wenger Gives His Thoughts On Gabriel Paulista’s Performance
Arsene Wenger has said Gabriel Paulista put in an ‘encouraging’ performance during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Everton at the Emirates this afternoon.
Gabriel was handed his first start in the Premier League and just his second since joining the club in January, coming in for Per Mertesacker after the German’s disappointing display against Monaco in midweek.
The Brazilian got off to a shaky start as his poor back-pass let in Romelu Lukaku but he was bailed out by his goalkeeper who did well to deny the striker.
However, Gabriel grew into the game and produced a magnificent goal-saving challenge to prevent Lukaku getting a shot off at goal when the score was still at 0-0, and it proved to be a turning point in the match.
The centre-back also made another two excellent tackles in the second half and looked composed alongside Laurent Koscielny at the back.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Arsene has now said he thought Gabriel gave an encouraging overall performance:
He had an encouraging performance overall. He was surprised by the intensity of the challenges once or twice but he made a great tackle against Romelu Lukaku in the first half. He’s highly focused, has a good concentration level and is quick.
on Arsenal fans liking no-nonsense defenders…
We all like that. It’s difficult to find central defenders today.
We need to be careful not to throw too much at him too soon as it will still take some time for his to get used to the Premier League, but I really think Gabriel is close to ousting Mertesacker permanently from the starting eleven.
As Arsene says, it was certainly an encouraging display today and it will be interesting to see who the boss goes with against QPR on Wednesday. I don’t think anyone would have too many issues if he decided to stick with the Brazilian.