Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Garth Crooks has been singing the praises of Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista on BBC Sport.
The former Tottenham man was impressed with the performance of Gabriel during the Gunners’ Premier League match against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Crooks, who was on the books of North London outfit Spurs from 1980 to 1985, has included the 24-year-old Brazilian centre-back in his BBC Premier League Team of the Week.
“I saw Gabriel stand up to Chelsea's Diego Costa recently at Stamford Bridge and he refused to be intimidated by the striker,” Crooks wrote on BBC Sport. “Sadly for Arsenal, he paid a heavy price for his boldness and was sent off.
“His performance, while less demanding against Manchester United, was extremely professional and he looked like a very composed defender with the ball at his feet.
“He reduced Anthony Martial to the minimum of chances and was instrumental in Arsenal keeping a clean sheet.”
During the 90 minutes he was on the pitch at the Emirates against United, Gabriel had a pass accuracy of 91%, won 67% of his tackles and 33% of his header, and made two interceptions, eight clearances and two blocks.
The former Villarreal star is one of the best defenders in the current Arsenal squad, and he was indeed instrumental in the Gunners’ 3-0 win against Louis van Gaal’s side on Sunday.