Gabriel has taken to life at Arsenal without a worry.
Now into his first full season, the defender has had a fantastic start. The red card against Chelsea was a poor moment but he was hard done by – the FA acknowledged that when they rescinded his three-game ban.
The scores were 0-0 but Gabriel left the pitch and Arsenal lost 2-0. Most recently, he returned to Premier League action on Sunday to form part of a defence which kept a clean sheet against Manchester United. Arsenal still haven’t conceded a Premier League goal with Gabriel on the pitch this season, but he isn’t getting ahead of himself.
“Having two players to learn from like Per and Laurent is a gift from God. I am shadowing them and picking up lots of things,” the Brazilian defender has told ESPN Brasil.
“I want to learn more from Laurent, he is really good at coming from behind and taking the ball. I’d like to bring that to my game.
“Cech is a great keeper he talks to me a lot, I have learnt a few phrases that I know he will say, he is a leader.”
Gabriel could easily take credit for his own performances, but it is a measure of him as a man and a player that he is looking to others. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are both terrific defenders; if Gabriel is learning from them he will only improve.
He doesn’t know English yet, so it’s reassuring to find out he has picked up a few phrases from Čech so they can communicate to a degree.
Both Koscielny and Mertesacker have missed games this season, meaning Gabriel has had plenty of chances to impress. He’s taken them, and he could now be in with a shot of taking one of their places on a regular basis.
(Gabriel spoke to ESPN Brasil and his quotes were translated by @aliladiere on Twitter.)