We are nearing the season’s end and it’s time to look back at how each player fared during the course of the season, with Paulista coming under our microscope today.
Arsenal were in a typical situation when Vermaelen left for Barcelona last summer, but Wenger decided against signing a replacement before the start of the season. However after seeing the side struggle with out any proper back up in that position, Wenger finally brought Gabriel in January Transfer window.
He was a direct replacement for Vermaelen, whose lose left the Gunners with only two recognised full backs in the form Koscienly and Mertesacker. The Brazilian came who came from Spanish Club Villareal is a Koscienly-esque player has a good strength and recovery pace. He was leading the interceptions chart last season and was also ranked among the defenders with the highest blocks, the qualities he has shown in the minimal games he has featured for the club.
The pro-active defender has a good reading of the game and has brought a bit of solidity and depth to our back-line. He speaks Spanish and has had limited opportunities this season because he wasn’t very fluent in English. Though we haven’t seen much of him this season, he has shown plenty of promise like in the Everton game where he played an inch-perfect sliding tackle to deny Lukaku. Not to mention he is much liked by the fans for his passion and attitude towards the game.
He attacks the ball during the corners and doesn’t look afraid to head a ball out of danger when the boots are flying out at him. The athletic center back is obsessed with improving his game with each passing day and could feature significantly more next season and if he keeps up his level of his game at this level, he could cement his name on the team-sheet.
However he can look to improve his passing of the ball from the back-line to his more attack minded teammates and his decision making sometimes. He can look to emulate Koscienly’s rise as one of the best in the premier league and given that he already has the physique the Frenchman needed when he arrived at the premier league.
It’s really not so easy to come into a new League and given the language barrier, it can be termed as a god debut for the defender. Hopefully he can get over the language issues and become a top center back.
What did you think of Paulista’s performances this season?