Arsene Wenger admits to big risk regarding Gabriel Paulista signing

Emirates Stadium

Arsenal’s new signing Gabriel Paulista is unfamiliar with the English language.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted Gabriel Paulista’s lack of English could place his defence in jeopardy, the Guardian report.

The Brazilian defender joined the Gunners from La Liga side Villarreal in the January transfer window, with striker Joel Campbell heading the other way on loan - as reported by the club's official website.

His transfer to Emirates Stadium was a must owing to the problems Wenger’s men suffered early in the campaign due to a number of injuries and setbacks.

However, while his ability isn’t in question, his lack of English could cause a misunderstanding in the Gunners’ backline and Wenger has admitted his inclusion comes with risk.

“When you don’t speak English and you don’t understand: ‘Come out, come back, right, left,’ it is a problem for a defender,” Wenger was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

“You need to know the key words: ‘Referee. Offside. Foul’. He’s the first defender I’ve brought in with no English.”

Should Gabriel Paulista start for Arsenal against Middlesbrough?

Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Middlesbrough is an ideal opportunity to hand Gabriel his debut for the club. In fact, there is no better game in which to do it.

The visitors currently top the Championship, and while a cup run would be nice, boss Aitor Karanka’s primary objective is to lead Boro back to the Premier League.

The Riverside outfit are likely to make changes – they face Birmingham City in the Championship three days later – and a strong Gunners side will rightfully be made big favourites to progress.

Wenger didn’t sign Gabriel to assign him to a bench role – he signed him as a long-term defensive partner for the excellent Laurent Koscielny and, therefore, he needs experience.

Gabriel, 24, will only learn the team’s style of play with practice and regular minutes, so it’s only a matter of when regarding his first-team debut and there aren’t enough reasons to suggest that shouldn’t be this weekend.

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