Alan Smith interested to see if Wenger makes big call over team selection

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has said it will be interesting to see if Arsene Wenger uses Gabriel Paulista over the next few weeks.

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he feels it will be interesting to see if new signing Gabriel is given a chance to impress over the next few weeks.

The Brazilian defender has been made to wait for Premier League football following his move from Villarreal and Smith feels he could get a chance in the near future.

“I think it will be interesting to see if Gabriel gets a chance over the next few weeks – Leicester really had a go against Arsenal and caused the defence some problems,” said Smith.

German defender Per Mertesacker and Frenchman Laurent Koscielny are Arsene Wenger’s first choice defensive partnership, but with matches piling up thick and fast, it might not be a bad idea to freshen things up across the back.

Gabriel will be eager to get his teeth into the side and impress and, with the Champions League returning next week, it’s impossible for Arsene Wenger to continuously play Mertesacker and Koscielny.

Sooner or later the first signs of fatigue are going to kick in and there’s also the possibility that Koscielny’s troublesome heel injury could reoccur. Gabriel offers something a bit different to either player, but they’ll lose nothing in terms of presence and pace.

It’s doubtful that Wenger will choose to trust his new Brazilian defender in the magnitude of Europe, which shows the importance of rotation.

Arsenal have conceded three goals in their last two Premier League games and freshening things up as Smith suggests in the next couple of weeks can’t do any harm.

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