Gabriel is targeting a regular return to the Arsenal starting XI but knows it will be hard given the quality in the squad.

Returning from injury against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, the Brazilian looks like he has a massive job ahead of him to get in to the starting XI ahead of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi who are forming quite the partnership.

Speaking before the game against Forest in the League Cup, Gabriel told Arsenal player, “I think this season the competition has been and will continue to be very strong, with so many great defenders at the club.

“If a player is at Arsenal it must mean they are great, and whoever the manager picks to be in the starting XI is good enough to be there.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Nicklas Bendtner of Nottingham Forest closes Gabriel of Arsenal during the EFL Cup Third Round match between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal at City Ground on September 20, 2016 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“The fight to get a place in the team will be a good fight, and Arsenal benefit from this competition between players. Us players will always try to get a place in the team.

“I’m going to train very hard to try and get in the team, to get in the starting XI, while at the same time showing respect to my team-mates.”

It’s safe to say that Gabriel has not enjoyed the best time since he arrived from Villarreal in January, 2015. Initially looking like a great addition, he has wobbled somewhat over the past year.

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An ankle injury picked up in pre-season meant that his game on Tuesday was his first in this campaign, but it’s hard to see how he gets back into the side without injuries afflicting Kos or Musti.