ARSENAL TARGET GABRIEL PAULISTA – 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW

Posted on: January 26th, 2015 | by Erika | No Comments

Gabriel Paulista Subject to work permit clearance, 24-year-old Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista will sign for Arsenal this week in a deal worth £15m. Arsene Wenger seems to have got his man, but did you know these little nuggets about the Brazilian?

1 – Paulista was born in Sao Paulo on 26th November 1990 to middle class parents, and made the move to Salvador to join the Vitoria youth set-up as a teenager.

2 – His first team debut came on the 7th March 2010, starting in a 3-1 win against lower league Camacari in the Campeonato Baiano championship. His league debut came two months later, coming on as a substitute against Brazilian giants Flamengo. Then 19, Paulista first raised eyebrows playing as a right-back and marking Neymar out of a two-legged Copa do Brasil final.

3 – Paulista was signed by Villarreal for £2.5m in the Summer of 2013, and was eased in to regular action last season before graduating as an ever-present this campaign.

4 – He’s been described as ‘the new David Luiz’ due to his leadership qualities and ball-carrying prowess. Arsenal fans will be glad to hear he is strong in the air, is a good reader of the game, and has a near-impeccable injury record.

AND FINALLY, 5 – Whilst serving a touchline ban last season, Villarreal manager Marcelino Garcia Toral took up a position on the other side of the pitch for a game against Getafe in order to focus almost solely on Paulista’s efforts. The experienced coach has quoted as saying he is ‘overwhelmed’ with the defender’s development, although he admitted last week he was resigned to letting him go.

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