Gabriel has revealed that he left Arsenal because he didn’t understand why he wasn’t getting more time on the pitch.
Gabriel has been speaking with Spanish outlet, Marca, and has shed some light on why he suddenly joined Valencia for £10m after just a year-and-a-half at Arsenal.
“At Arsenal [I] deserved more,” he said. “They did not give me the minutes I earned, nor did my colleagues understand why they sent me to the bench. I talked to my family and decided to leave.”
During the 26-year-old’s time in north London, he made 64 appearances for the Gunners. Last season, he made 19 appearances and 14 starts, with Arsene Wenger trying to accommodate him for a time by putting him at right-back and then back in the middle when Arsenal changed to incorporate three at the back.
However, Gabriel was never particularly fantastic. He was brought in from Villarreal as a January signing in 2015 due to first team injuries but was never seen as an actual solution to Arsenal’s defensive frailties. He was a squad player to be brought in to fill a gap when first team players were sidelined.
Therefore, his apparent surprise at being benched is a little alarming.
No one expected Gabriel to leave this summer. Just like the rumour that Shkodran Mustafi could sign for Inter, reports that the Brazilian was signing for Valencia popped up overnight and then suddenly the defender was landing in Spain with his family.
Gabriel is yet to make an appearance for his new La Liga club because he’s still recovering from the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffering against Everton last term.