Arsenal newbie Gabriel discusses language barrier and Laurent Koscielny

The recent arrival from Villarreal is pleased with his debut against Middlesbrough.

Arsenal defender Gabriel made his debut for the club at the weekend. The winter signing from Spanish side Villarreal performed with aplomb as The Gunners ran out comfortable winners against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

One of the concerns before the game was that Gabriel, who barely speaks English, would struggle to communicate with his new team-mates.

He speaks Portuguese and Spanish but Gabriel has only just started learning English, so it was understandable to be concerned. However he has told today that it was no problem - thanks mainly to Laurent Koscielny and his English teacher:

“And in relation to understanding my team-mates, I always wanted to be tuned into what [Laurent Koscielny] was doing so I could try doing the same. I tried to listen to him as well, to listen to a few words.

“In my [English] lessons I always ask the teacher to teach me the main words we use on the pitch, like 'defend, leave, go back'. So I had no difficulty with my defensive partner. We understood each other really well, and the most important thing is that we managed to win the game.”

Football is a universal language and Arsenal fans will be pleased with how well he fitted in against Boro.

He was certainly a necessary arrival at Arsenal. The club sold Thomas Vermaelen in the summer and never replaced him. Calum Chambers has played the role, with varied success whilst injury to Laurent Koscielny has seen Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal play at centre-back this term.

Gabriel brings with him the versatility and quality needed to strengthen the Arsenal back-line, as well as the impressive ability to play without knowing how to talk to his centre-back partner.

So the future looks bright for the talented newbie.

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