OFFICIAL: ARSENAL SIGN A CB

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Post by Sri Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:23 pm

OFFICIAL: ARSENAL SIGN A CB 25051710


Villarreal CF @VillarrealCF 
Principio de acuerdo de traspaso con el @Arsenal por Gabriel, quien se despedirá hoy antes del partido.¡Mucha suerte!

Samba is Back

Following the Samba traditions under Wenger at Arsenal, there have been a mixed bag of Brazilians strutting their stuff. Over the years, this has included Sylvinho (1999-2001), Edu (2001-05), Jaimez (2001-04), Gilberto (2002-08), Baptista (2006-07), Denilson (2006-13), Eduardo (2007-10) and most recently, Andre Santos (2011-13). After a brief hiatus (I blame it on the disaster that were Denilson, Eduardo and Santos, for varying reasons), Wenger has brought some Samba back in the central defender, Gabriel Armando de Abreu hailing from São Paulo, simply known as Gabriel Paulista or Gabriel. We have beaten off Manchester United to seal the deal, from what little birds are chirping (read: tweeting).

The Moolah

After joining The Yellow Submarine on August 15, 2013 on a five year deal (till 30.06.2018) for €3.3m, Gabriel now moves to the red side of London, with Joel Campbell moving the other way on a loan to the end of the season (thankfully, no option to buy has been mentioned yet). Although he had a release clause of €20m (~16m pounds), journalist Kike Marin reckons we bagged him for €18m (or ~13.4m pounds).

That is definitely higher than what Transfermarkt reckons as his market value (€8m). It is also the club-record transfer fee for selling a defender for Villareal. Our previous central defenders, Vermaelen, Koscielny and Mertesacker, each cost ~10m pounds, while the British youngster Chambers set us back by a healthy 16m quid.

Are Villareal laughing their way to their bankers, pocketing a Portugese-club-esque profit above ~€16m, or is Gabriel worth the money that the financially prudent Wenger is forking out?

Let's Say Hello

Name: Gabriel Armando de Abreu
Birth: 26.11.1990 - five months after Argentina dumped Brazil out of the World Cup in 1990.
Born in: São Paulo, Brazil  
Age: 24
Height: 1.87 m / 6' 2"
Weight: 159 pounds
Details: Right-footed, right-sided central defender

Gabriel started his youth career at the set-up of Salvador based club, Esporte Clube Vitoria. He made his debut at the age of 19, against Flamengo in 2010. Paulista helped Vitoria to the 2013 Campeonato Baiano title three years later. He was utilised on the left and right hand side of a three-man backline, which seems to be in vogue across Europe in recent months. He was elected the best central defender of the tournament. He made 77 appearances in 3 years with Vitoria, scoring 1 goal along the way.

After moving to Villareal, Marcelino Garcia Toral slowly eased him into the side last year, making his debut against Atletico Madrid at El Madrigal. He has made 37 appearances for Villareal since signing for them.He has firmly established himself and been ever-present during the current campaign, playing in 19 La Liga games and helping the Spanish club to a 15-game unbeaten run, while picking up 20 of the last 24 points.  They've also made it to the Copa del Ray QFs.


Style of Play

Gabriel is versatile, as is evident from his early days at Vitoria. Despite being right footed, he has played at left back on two occasions for Villareal. He has 'built a glowing reputation as a powerful, pacy, ball-playing central defender who reads the game brilliantly, is strong in the air and capable of man-marking if required.'

It was expected that his career path will follow a trajectory akin to David Luiz when he arrived on European shores. That is not to say that he has a similar style of play. If anything, he's said to be a 'nastier version of Luiz's Brazilian colleague at PSG, Marquinhos', given the similarities in their height and build.

Strengths

Gabriel attacks the ball aggressively, routinely forcing turnovers and breaking up play. He also has a good recovery speed. He has an excellent ariel ability, which should ease the transition to the physicalities of the Premier League. He's quick with both his legs and his head.

In the game against Espanyol earlier this season, it was impressive to see how well he read the game, predicted situations and killed off attacks.

Describing himself last season, he's quoted to have said: "It's difficult to speak about yourself, but people around me say I'm really quick and good in the air. They also say I have a really good capacity to recover, both on and off the pitch. But I still want to grow. I can still improve a lot."


Weaknesses

There have been some noises about Lovren-esque mistakes. While an in-form Gabriel 'Dominates the game aerially, on the ground and is a passing outlet from the back', he can be 'Sebastien Squillaci-like centre-back with a touch of Andre Santos at left-back' when out of form (source)

Despite his ariel prowess, there seem to be some issues with facing stronger forwards - he would have to hit the gym for a bit to beef up.

Here's Some Harsh Critique of some of his Performances:


Comparing with our Current Options

He has accumulated more interceptions in league play (66) than Calum Chambers (35), Laurent Koscielny (43), Nacho Monreal (46) and Per Mertesacker (45). On a per game basis, he makes 3.5 interceptions, to 1.9 (Chambers), 3.6 (Koscielny), 2.9 (Monreal), and 2.1 (Mertesacker).

OFFICIAL: ARSENAL SIGN A CB 868eef10-a25d-11e4-b723-09272bb483f0_Gabriel-vs-Mertesacker-vs-K

Quoting Eursport:
Only Mertesacker has won more aerial duels than him out of Arsenal's current central defenders, which is largely due to his 6' 5'' frame.
That fact that he averages more interceptions than Koscielny this season is remarkable given the consistency the Frenchman has shown in that area. Last season, no defender from the top seven Premier League clubs completed more interceptions than Arsenal's number six - a key feature to his game.
With a similar style of defending to Koscielny and standing at identical heights, you have to wonder whether the two will form a complimentary partnership. Mertesacker's lack of pace but impressive aerial ability work in tandem with Koscielny's agility and proactive defending.
However, with the German showing signs of waning this season, Wenger maybe preparing a contingency plan, by having a proactive pairing of Koscielny and Gabriel. This may allow the Gunners to play the high intensity pressing game Wenger has longed for, aided by a defence able to hold a high line with recovery pace to fall back on.


Expert Talk

Gabriel needs to develop at the club, he is raw, but talented” - Spanish football expert Graham Hunter to Revista de la Liga.

"Gabriel is a very good centre-back. He is very important in Villarreal, so I understand [why] Villarreal want [Arsenal to pay the buyout clause]." - former Barcelona and Chelsea defender Albert Ferrer to Revista de La Liga. 


Next Steps

The one hurdle we still have to get over is getting the lad a work permit. As he is uncapped for Brazil, we have to appear in front of an appeals panel and make our case for painting a rosy picture of what a special talent Gabriel is. There are some positives here though.

Gabriel averages more interceptions per game (3.5) than Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos (3.0) and only just behind Koscielny (3.6). He has also registered the most interceptions in the UEFA Europa League with 32 in six games. Starting 18 of 19 La Liga games, Gabriel has enhanced Villarreal's defence, which has conceded less goals (17) than reigning league champions Atletico Madrid (18) this season. Something definitely counts as special in there.

Incidentally, Chelsea used the exceptional talent clause to sign Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala. There is definitely hope Wink


My Verdict

The lad's quotes give me an impression that he has a mature head. He seems diligent and, for the sake of no better word, humble.

Seems a rather good buy, although he needs to grow and settle in. Eventually, he can go on to take up the reins from the incumbents and hopefully, also go on to become a Arsenal legend.

Bem-vindo à sua casa nova! Thumbs up



Last edited by srigooner on Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:58 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Raptorgunner Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:05 pm

Its done? :bow:
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Post by RealGunner Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:07 pm

Bah gawd :bow:

Brazil's greatest export :bow:

Reminds me of prime Dida
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Post by Sri Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:14 pm

Working on something special for you lads. Need an hour to compile all the shizz. Be patient meanwhile Thumbs up

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Post by Raptorgunner Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:54 pm

OFFICIAL: ARSENAL SIGN A CB B8JI43rCYAA1Ead


Last edited by Raptorgunner on Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Sri Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:58 pm

FFS I was going to use that graphic.

I need to finish this faster. OFFICIAL: ARSENAL SIGN A CB 2276801876

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Post by Raptorgunner Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:59 pm

srigooner wrote:FFS I was going to use that graphic.

I need to finish this faster.  OFFICIAL: ARSENAL SIGN A CB 2276801876


LOL. pirat

I removed it.
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Post by MJ Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:14 pm

Proper way to say goodbye to a player. Villarreal treated our Kos/Pepe hybrid to a classy farewell.

Spoiler:
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Post by Sri Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:17 pm

Raptorgunner wrote:
srigooner wrote:FFS I was going to use that graphic.

I need to finish this faster.  OFFICIAL: ARSENAL SIGN A CB 2276801876


LOL. pirat

I removed it.


Haha you shouldn't have.. I edited it out.. Smile

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Post by Sri Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:31 pm

Done. :coffee:

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Post by Sri Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:39 pm

MJ wrote:Proper way to say goodbye to a player. Villarreal treated our Kos/Pepe hybrid to a classy farewell.

Spoiler:


That's really wonderful. Seems a very likeable chap.

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Post by Raptorgunner Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:51 pm

Sri. Shocked

:bow:
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Post by MJ Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:00 am

Sri :bow: :bow:

Have read multiple times that he's very aggressive. Been a long time since we had a genuine a-hole in our midst (not personality-wise. Just a take no sh-t type)


Birth: 26.11.1990 - five months after Argentina dumped Brazil out of the World Cup in 1990.

Illuminati confirmed?
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:03 am

Having two overly aggressive defenders, yep I'm sure that will go down well lol.
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Post by Sri Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:06 am

My fear is it will be TommyV-Koscielny again.

What gives me hope is, we seem to be recruiting him more as the understudy of Koscielny, while Chambers is the understudy of Mertesacker as the RCB. Being versatile, having played as LB even, this gives me the impression.

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Post by Jay29 Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:09 am

Very nice work, Sri.

(Would like to suggest we turn this thread into the "official: gabriel signs" thread when Arsenal confirm it)

This interests me the most:

This may allow the Gunners to play the high intensity pressing game Wenger has longed for, aided by a defence able to hold a high line with recovery pace to fall back on.

I've been advocating a high-intensity pressing game for a while, especially during home games that we struggle to break teams down. Mertesacker isn't too suited to the high-line required for that, so to have somebody who will be is obviously handy. It's another option in the squad that'll help us change tactics when we need to.

Of course, he'll need a period of settling in. We've seen with Koscielny and Mertesacker that the physical nature of the Premier League can take foreign defenders by surprise; we all remember Mertesacker being out-muscled by Morison against Norwich in 2012, a striker much smaller than he is. It took a while for them to adjust their mentality's. I suspect Gabriel will have to do the same thing, since La Liga is hardly filled with battering-ram like strikers, unlike the Premier League (Costa, Pelle, Carroll, Benteke, Chamakh, Crouch, Gomis; just to name a few).

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Post by Sri Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:13 am

Btw thanks guys Smile

I tried to do half as good a job as main man Ali

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Post by El Gunner Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:50 am

Sri you beauty. :bow:
But I will have to read that tomorrow morning, cba to do it now Laughing
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Post by Gyarados Garrincha Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:04 am

Awesome work,Sri. Thumbs up
Would be immense if someone would care to translate the Portuguese interspersed in here.
Smile
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Post by Gyarados Garrincha Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:18 am

Also,the comparisons with Tommy V seem a li'l unfair,cos our defence has seen plentiful of changes from that Kos-Tommy V situation.Verm was in highly poor form at that time with a lot of individual mistakes that went on to become costly individual errors leading to goals.Further,he had Santos by his side.

Now,we've seen AW becoming a li'l flexible tactically,Stevie B's influence as well as the defenders maturing a lot and lastly,Santos going onto become a CAM in ISL. Laughing

I guess Gaby would feel better with a matured Kos and experienced Nacho/matured Gibbs with him.
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Post by Sri Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:25 am

Gyrados Garrincha wrote:Awesome work,Sri. Thumbs up
Would be immense if someone would care to translate the Portuguese interspersed in here.
Smile


Haha I googled it man..

The title is supposed to mean 'Profile of Football Player'. The last line was 'Welcome to your new home'. Thumbs up

Paulista, I understand, just means that the person comes from Sao Paolo.

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Post by Sri Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:00 am


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Post by Chumlum Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:07 pm

Tremendous write-up, Sri!

I think word of this transfer first emerged in the crap press, e.g., Metro/Mirror. Could be wrong. But, it reminded me a teeny bit of the Podolski rumors (both his coming to Arsenal, and leaving to Inter on loan), where you weren't sure if they were even believable, and all of the sudden, it was happening.

I like the fact that Arsenal identified a target and decided they were willing to pay (almost) full price for him. If Gabriel does well, it's a very good value for a quality defender in this market. If he doesn't live up to hopes & expectations, it's still not so much money that the club really broke the bank for him.

Let's hope this work permit is smooth sailing.
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Post by Sri Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:20 pm

Thanks Chum Thumbs up

It's important to remember that this is an era where a Brazilian CB pairing at PSG cost about €100m. hmm

We have been pretty efficient with this deal, as well as with moving players out - something which I have criticized often. If we manage to get a DM as well in the remaining week, I will fly to London and kiss Gazidis' bald effin' head.

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Post by Sri Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:07 pm

Henrik Hindby ‏@HenrikHindby 5m5 minutes ago
#Villarreal's manager: "#Arsenal's offer (for Gabriel) was irresistible for the club and the player himself. Gabriel deserves it."

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