Arsenal’s latest recruit started life as a football in attack.
But, before you shake your head and wonder if we’ve managed to land yet another attacking-type player, he has also revealed that he could not be happier as a defender and has no plans to ever change position.
Arriving from Villarreal at the end of last month, Gabriel was handed the number five shirt and went straight into the squad for the game against Aston Villa.
While he is likely to be given time to acclimatise, and learn the key defensive words he will need as he speaks no English yet, we will see him on the bench just in case Laurent Koscielney’s Achilles explode again.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, the Brazilian said
“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!”
He also revealed that Arsenal legend Gilberto is a real inspiration to him and a player he hopes to emulate.
“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.”
If he manages to impressive half as much as his countryman, then Gabriel is a fans’ favourite in the making.