Gabriel recently compared Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker and admitted that both centre-backs have different attributes that he can learn from.
The Brazilian, who admitted that he’s flattered to be compared to Kos since joining Arsenal in 2015, claims that he wants to continue improving and putting in more work.
“I’m really happy to be compared with such a great player,” Gabriel said to Arsenal Player.
“He has been showing throughout the season that he can be one of the best, or is one of the best, defenders in the world.
“I feel very happy and want to train more and more every day to be better in every match to make sure I can get to his level. I want to become one of the best defenders.
“I have to change my style a little bit [depending on my defensive partner].
“When I’m playing with Mertesacker, he’s much more experienced. He plays more in his position, talks to me a lot whereas Laurent is a faster player.”
Gabriel added, “Laurent is more similar to me. There are a few differences but the quality of their passing is something which gives me a lot of confidence.
“Communication helps too. Sometimes at the beginning we think that it’s not important to learn English, that the important thing is to play.
“It’s obvious that it’s important to play well but communication is very important when you play in defence, so I realised it was important for the defence for me to learn English when I was playing and training.”
Gabriel has been a bit hit or miss this season. The defender has put in some wobbly performances and, at one stage, it was perplexing as to why Arsene Wenger kept dropping the BFG in favour of the less-consistent man. However, as the season has progressed, so has Gabriel. Saying this, so has the team as a whole.
I’m still a huge fan of Mertesacker. I’ve said it numerous times but what he lacks in pace, he makes up for in experience and reading of the game. Although I can recognise that Gabriel has his strengths, he still makes me a little nervous, especially when it gets a bit hot-headed. Only time will tell which centre-back is the better option.