Arsene Wenger today confirmed that Gabriel Paulista was signed keeping in mind Laurent Koscielny’s injury problems.
Wenger has finally talked about what people have been saying all summer and throughout the season about how the team was woefully short of backup players in central defence and the Arsenal manager has finally moved to address the issue.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, Arsene said, “We needed another centre back because we have lost Debuchy. Monreal can play centre back and we are a bit short there if something happens, especially with the Achilles [problem] of Koscielny since the start of the season.
“We needed some cover, or we would not be responsible. [Gabriel] can play right back and left back, and that is of course a good quality as well.”
Arsene Wenger also talked up the qualities of Arsenal’s new No. 5, saying Paulista had all the qualities needed to excel in the English Premier League.
He said, “He has good pace, he’s good in the challenge and he’s tall – so he can adapt to English football.
“Maybe it will take some time to adapt completely, but overall it’s very good to have him.
“He’s very ambitious, focused and serious. That’s important at a club like ours – you need to have a complete focus on your job. He has that.”
Arsene Wenger would be specially eyeing the fact that Paulista can play across the entire backline and with Arsenal’s much documented problems in defence. Now, Arsenal have multiple players who can play in multiple positions in the back 4, which if you think about it is a master stroke by Arsene Wenger.
With Koscielny and Mertesacker holding the starting Centre Back positions, Paulista and Chambers will be handy backups while Bellerin and a returning Jenkinson could hold the Right Back position along with Debuchy. Left Back would be covered with Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal, and should one of these two should get injured, Paulista can deputise for them.
With one signing, Arsene Wenger seems to have solved the problem in defence that Arsenal has been staring at all through summer and during the season. Now it will be up to the uncapped Brazilian to prove that he was worth the wait. Arsenal fans would be particularly looking at the fact that he has not played for the country yet, a team in which David Luiz gets regular starts. One can only hope that this signing won’t be as bad as the last one, a certain Andre Santos.