Arsenal's manager has been speaking about one of his January signings.
Wenger on Gabriel: "We bought him to hold down a regular place and that's the target. His English isn't perfect yet." pic.twitter.com/8H0cqpjBkM— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 3, 2015
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been speaking ahead of the Gunners’ Premier League match against Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday evening, in comments later published by the club's official Twitter account.
Among the subjects under discussion was the club’s January signing Gabriel Paulista, who arrived from Spanish side Villarreal for a reported £11.2million.
The Brazilian centre-back had to wait patiently for his first Premier League start, but when that came against Everton he showed just what he is capable of.
Now Wenger has explained why the 24-year-old was brought in, saying, “We bought him to hold down a regular place and that’s the target. His English isn’t perfect yet.”
Arsenal’s lack of defensive options were laid bare earlier in the campaign, when injuries and suspensions saw some rather strange team selections, including the unsuccessful use of Nacho Monreal as a centre-back.
Gabriel’s arrival should ensure that is far less likely to happen again, but Wenger’s comments may not be welcomed by Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker.
The German international had to make do with a place on the bench when Gabriel was picked on Sunday and with Wenger hinting that the Brazilian has been signed to start, not merely to act as back-up, Mertesacker may have to get used to more watching briefs in the coming months.