17 clearances; eight interceptions: Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista brilliant against Newcastle

Arsenal Emirates 3

Arsenal defeated Newcastle United 2-1 on Saturday and the Gunners' defender Gabriel Paulista impressed throughout.

It is not often that good business is done in the January transfer window; after all, too often clubs act out of desperation or sign players for overinflated fees.

But that cannot be said of Arsenal when they brought in Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal for an £11.2million fee that is beginning to look like a bargain.

The Brazilian made his fifth appearance for Arsenal in their weekend clash with Newcastle United and he looked a class act throughout.

Olivier Giroud may have taken the headlines with his brace but Arsenal’s defence held firm, ensuring Moussa Sissoko’s goal was nothing more than a consolation strike.

  Passing AccuracyTackles WonEffective ClearancesEffective Headed ClearancesDuels WonAerials WonInterceptions WonOutfield BlocksMins Played
Gabriel Paulista 80% 1 11 6 4 2 8 4 90

Against the Magpies, Arsenal’s newest defensive addition made an impressive 17 effective clearances during the match (11 with his feet and an additional six with his head). He also won eight interceptions and made four outfield blocks.

With six battles won and an 80 per cent passing accuracy, it is clear the Arsenal centre-back had a match to remember and he looks to be developing a wonderful partnership with Laurent Koscielny that may not be great news for fellow defender Per Mertesacker.

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