Arsenal fans could be in for a double dish of good news this Monday evening as the long awaited official announcement of Arsenal’s capture of Gabriel Paulista is expected to be made today according to Daily Star, with a medical believed to be finalized before Wenger and Arsenal fans finds out their fifth round FA Cup opponents (Reading maybe?).
It would take something hugely significant to prevent the former Villareal defender (we can say that now – they’ve sent him forth) from being announced as an Arsenal player within the coming days as even the process for his work permit looks to be over the line. Wenger gave that confirmation after the Brighton game and the indications are that an official statement from Arsenal cannot be too far now.
Gabriel was handed a submarine souvenir in an emotional farewell from Villareal before their La Liga win over Levante on Saturday and his future now looks to be in London for the next few years. Already, Joel Campbell has gone the other way on loan for the rest of the season as part of the deal.
If Arsenal’s dogged defensive input at City had produced an air of good days in that department, the second half of the FA Cup tie with Brighton reawakened the consciousness amongst observers that there is still work to be done before Wenger’s team fully arrives. And that would make the Brazilian’s imminent announcement all the more eagerly anticipated.
The popular view is that the yet uncapped Brazilian has enough qualities to become good value for the around £13 million spent to acquire him, even if he will require some time to settle fully into the squad. He arrives the Emirates with an impressive record in the La Liga this season having made a massive 66 interceptions, a figure only bettered by Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte by one more. Villareal have also conceded fewer goals than 17 of the 20 competing sides in Spain’s top division this season, Madrid and Barcelona the only clubs with a better percentage.
Perhaps he will not be put into the thick of things once his arrival is made official but as the Gunners, on ball number 12, find out the next opponents to stand in the way of a 12th FA Cup title this evening, Wenger will have an eye on involving Gabriel in that fixture in three weeks’ time. Vice Captain Per Mertesacker had been rested for a first-ever Koscielny-Monreal Arsenal partnership. It’s fair to say it looked shakier than any pair that has involved Per, but the arrival of a natural center-half should prove the end to that risky business.
Many have termed the signing of the 24-yer old as a good piece of business for the Gunners. With the medical over the line, it’s just an announcement away now.
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