Former hero concedes that he likes the look of new Arsenal signing

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Former Arsenal defender Frank McLintock has been assessing new arrival Gabriel Paulista.

New Arsenal star Gabriel Paulista has made a steady start to life at the Emirates, impressing former player Frank McLintock, who explained how he has high hopes for the defender in the Express.

The versatile Brazilian defender signed for the Gunners during the January transfer window, moving from La Liga out Villarreal in a deal which saw Joel Campbell head the other way on a six-month loan.

His impact so far has been fairly minimal, with regular centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny maintaining their roles as the club’s first-choice defensive partnership.

That said, Gabriel Paulista – commonly referred to as Gabriel – has looked comfortable when handed precious game time and his composure has already rubbed off on club legend Frank McLintock.

“The new boy Gabriel has come in but he hasn't really been tested out a great deal. He looked mobile, put in a fantastic tackle a couple of weeks ago [against Everton] so I like the look of him,” McLintock said.

“He's got to have the time to settle down as that was a position that was causing us a problem. We lost [Thomas] Vermaelen [to Barcelona] and why we didn't replace him I'll never know.

"We should have had a ready-made replacement and hopefully Gabriel can be the guy."

Should Arsene Wenger give Gabriel Paulista a run in the side?

Since Gabriel traded El Madrigal for North London in January, the 24-year-old has started just three Premier League fixtures - the latest against Newcastle United on Saturday - with his apparent lack of English highlighted as a potential problem.

However, Wenger didn’t splash the cash on him just to bring him in as back-up. Gabriel was brought in as a first-teamer and a likely successor for Per Mertesacker.

Only with first-team football will he be able to adapt, but given the Gunners’ end-of-season priorities is he really worth the risk in matches against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United?

Well, fortunately for Wenger’s side they have a relatively straightforward run-in and games at the Emirates against the likes of Swansea City, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion are ideal for Gabriel to get some more much-needed Premier League experience.

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