We don’t usually see a new signing being pitched straight into the starting line up, it’s usually the case that they train for a few weeks and then they get slowly introduced to the team from the bench.
That looked very likely with Gabriel at Arsenal after he arrived from Lille. Ligue 1 ended their season early so he’s barely played for months, so it was a big call for Arteta to start him against Fulham today.
The defender played very well and he even managed to get on the scoresheet as well, while a clean sheet made it close to the perfect debut for him.
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The best thing for Arsenal fans is hearing what Mikel Arteta said about his performance after the game, because it’s clear that the plan wasn’t to get him into the team this quickly:
Clearly the plan wasn't to play Gabriel so soon, but Mikel Arteta was delighted with his new signing after his performance against Fulham today pic.twitter.com/aNgmxiwtYG
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) September 12, 2020
The manager confirms that he’s barely trained with his teammates or played for months, so it’s hugely encouraging to see how well he’s played when you take all of this into account.
It suggests that he’s only going to get better as time goes on, so there will be increased hopes that he will be the long term answer to Arsenal’s defensive issues.