Laurent Koscielny reckons Gabriel will do just fine in the North London Derby, describing the centre-back as a ‘fighter’.
Koscielny is still out with a minor injury and therefore misses out on the clash against Spurs. However, he doesn’t think his replacement, Gabriel, will have any trouble slotting in.
Speaking ahead of the match, the Frenchman hailed the defender’s winning mentality and praised what the Brazilian has done for the club so far.
“[Derbies suit] a defender that is a fighter because they are winners,” Koscielny said to Arsenal Player.
“Gabby wants to win all his duels and help his team win the game.
“It will be his first north London derby, but he will have played a derby in Spain or Brazil so he knows what it is like and will give himself to win the game. It is more than a year that he has lived in England, and he knows his team-mates better now.
“We are happy with Gabriel, he has done a good job with his pace, determination and he wins his duels. It is very important to have a player like this in your squad. I think he has improved well. He is starting to speak English so this is good. He is more confident on the pitch and outside the pitch.
“Gabby can play higher up the pitch because he has pace and can recover at the back. Per is very good when the ball is in front of him and he can stop a counter attack and this is important.
“It is a good partnership for us and all the players that can play at centre back are focused on their job.”
When Gabriel first started making more appearances for our starting XI, he did appear to be pretty solid. Arsenal fans liked his passion and felt we actually needed someone who was a little hot-headed to go up against the likes of Diego Costa. However, the honeymoon period is over and the centre-back has been nothing short of terrible in recent weeks.
Against Manchester United he was responsible for at least two of the goals conceded which, as a first choice centre-back, shouldn’t be happening.
Hopefully he screws his head on tightly for the Derby.