Gabriel has been speaking to Arsenal.com ahead of the Champions League game on Tuesday night and has revealed that Thiago Silva is a ‘big inspiration’ for him.

Gabriel returned to training this week but is not expected to be involved in the squad for at least another game or two.

Given the fact that he has returned ahead of schedule from the ankle injury he picked up in pre-season, we shouldn’t risk the wrath of the Football gods by throwing him in too early.

Besides, is there anyone who is advocating him playing ahead of Laurent Koscielny or Shkodran Mustafi?

If there is, I’m sure they’re doing it very, very quietly.

Anyway, Gabriel said, “[Silva] inspires me a lot, as he is a leader, and he has shown his leadership qualities on the pitch for all the clubs he’s played for.

“I look for inspiration in players like him, who for me is one of the best players and one of the best defenders in the world.

“Who knows, one day I might reach his level, and also be one of the best defenders in the world. This is my aim.

“I have spent time with Thiago Silva and Marquinhos in the Brazilian national team, and although I don’t know [PSG defender] Maxwell personally I’ve seen him play.

“He is very experienced, a good player with good technique, and I think these Brazilian players are great.

“Marquinhos is a great young player with huge potential, you can see him improving every day, and now he’s in the starting XI of the Brazilian national team, and he won the Olympic gold medal with Brazil.”

Gabriel is six years younger than Silva, so he still has time on his side, but perhaps not as much as he would like.

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