Gabriel has made a fantastic start to his new life in Valencia, after asking to leave Arsenal in the summer.
Starting six of the last nine league games, and appearing in one more from the bench, Gabriel has the regular first-team place he could never seem to hold down with the Gunners.
The addition of the Brazilian seems to be working very well for Valencia, too, who are still unbeaten 11 matches into the season. They’re also in second place in La Liga, four points ahead of Real Madrid and only three behind Barcelona.
La Liga expert Andrew Gaffney told football.london: “Gabriel has settled in effortlessly. You can already see how calm he is on the ball, as if the self-belief has returned to his game which was lacking in London.
“I wouldn’t call it a mistake (Gabriel leaving Arsenal). It’s hard to do anything when a player asks to leave.
“The Premier League can be unforgiving and it doesn’t allow you the time to adjust to the pace and power of the game in England. In his last season at Arsenal he picked up an injury which forced him to miss the beginning of the campaign.
“When that happens it’s hard to get into the team and less so when you haven’t truly settled. A move away made sense for all parties.”
It may have made sense for Arsenal at the time, and it’s true that Gabriel never fully adjusted to the Premier League, but the Gunners have suffered at the back since the centre-back’s departure.
Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny have been required as stand-ins, and only Liverpool have conceded more goals from the top eight clubs.
Fans spent the summer calling for a new centre-back, and the club ended up with one fewer than they’d started with. Add injuries to Chambers, Mustafi and Bielik, to the mix and it’s no surprise the defence is suffering.
In the end, I think Gabriel’s move was still the correct one, although Arsenal could definitely have got more money for him.
It was the lack of an experienced replacement that made it into more of an issue than it needed to be.