Central defender Gabriel featured regularly throughout his first full season at the club, and claimed his first Gunners goal in the home win over Bournemouth just after Christmas.

A committed, robust defender who is also strong in the air, his headed effort from Mesut Ozil's corner was also his first-ever goal in European football, having not registered during one and a half seasons with Villarreal in Spain.

Gabriel Profile

Born November 26, 1990
Sao Paulo
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 5
Previous Club(s) Vitoria, Villarreal

But it's his defensive qualities with which Gabriel has most impressed since signing for Arsenal during the winter transfer window in 2015. He brings strength and a fierce competitive spirit to the back line, and indeed the Gunners didn't lose any of the first 11 Premier League matches in which he completed 90 minutes.

A consistent performer, he featured alongside either Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker in the heart of the Gunners defence during every month of the campaign last season.

Gabriel (full name Gabriel Armado de Abreu but also referred to as Gabriel Paulista) was called up to the Brazil national team in March 2015, but was an unused sub for the match against Chile at the Emirates Stadium.

Also able to operate at full-back, Gabriel started his career with Vitoria in Bahia, Brazil and won two regional league championships with the team, in 2010 and 2013. He was also named best central defender in the Bahia league in 2012 and 2013.

Gabriel's Arsenal Career

  Prem Lge Europe FA Cup Lge Cup C. Shield Total
Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2014-2015 4 + 2 0 0 0 1 + 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 + 3 0
2015-2016 18 + 3 1 4 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 27 + 3 1
2016-2017 1 + 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 4 + 1 0
Total 23 + 6 1 4 0 6 + 1 0 3 0 0 0 36 + 7 1

My Year

  • 2016/17
  • 2015/16
  • 2014/15


Gabriel did not feature in August.


Gabriel played the full 90 minutes of our 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup third round.


Gabriel played the full 90 minutes of our 2-0 EFL Cup fourth round win over Reading at Emirates Stadium.


Gabriel featured twice in July, helping the Gunners keep clean sheets against a Singapore Select XI and Wolfsburg. Speaking ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy final, the Brazilian defender said: “When I first arrived it was my time to adapt. I think I am more adapted now, so I really want to win, I want to be at my best to be able to do all I can to help everyone. I do think that my characteristics of being strong have helped me adapt well to the English league because it is a very hard league, with a lot of contact.”


Gabriel featured twice in August, helping the Gunners keep back-to-back Premier League clean sheets against Liverpool and Newcastle United.


Gabriel played four times during September, helping the Gunners keep a clean sheet against Stoke City before being sent off at Chelsea. Speaking after the incident, Arsene Wenger said: “He is a fighter and his attitude in training was completely focused and motivated.”


Gabriel played twice during October and helped Arsenal keep a clean sheet against Manchester United. After his impressive performance against Everton, Arsene Wenger said: “He's shown that he's a fighter. At half-time he was so upset at the deflection but in the second half he came out again with the same spirit, a fantastic combative aspect. He's not a talking leader, he's a fighting leader, and he's a typical centre back for the Premier League.”


Gabriel played twice during November. The defender was part of the side for the games against Bayern Munich and Norwich City.


Gabriel played once in December and scored his first goal for Arsenal during the 2-0 win against Bournemouth. Arsene Wenger said afterwards: “He was dangerous from set-pieces and defenced very well. He had good focus, was agile, quick and very strong in the challenge.”


Gabriel featured three times during January and played against Sunderland, Chelsea and Burnley.


Gabriel played three times during February and helped the Gunners keep clean sheets against Southampton and Bournemouth. Speaking after the game against the Cherries, Laurent Koscielny said: “You know Gabby, he is a very good player. He likes his duels and he can play with the ball and passes well.”


Gabriel featured six times in March, and helped the Gunners keep clean sheets against Hull City and Everton.


Gabriel played four times in April and helped the Gunners keep clean sheets against Watford and Norwich.


Gabriel played twice in May and helped Arsenal keep a clean sheet against Aston Villa.


Gabriel made his Arsenal debut in the 2-0 FA Cup win against Middlesbrough before coming on for the final minute of the 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace to make his first Premier League appearance. Speaking after the Middlesbrough game, Arsene Wenger said: “He did really well and you see there’s some great potential there, some good focus, good urgency, good desire to defend.”


Gabriel featured three times in March, starting twice, and helped Arsenal keep a clean sheet against Everton. The Brazilian was also rewarded with a first call-up to the Brazil squad for their friendly against Chile. Speaking after the Everton game, David Ospina said: “It was a supreme game from Gabriel. He helps take us forward, Arsenal can count on some great defenders and he's one of them.”


Gabriel made two substitute appearances for Arsenal in April, coming on in the wins against Liverpool and Reading. The Brazilian defender said: “[The strength of the league is] one of the reasons why I wanted to play here. It’s a tight competition with no weak teams. Clubs at the bottom of the table compete at the same level with the leaders. We are aware of the difficulties, but we are on the right path.”


Gabriel played once in May, completing the full 90 minutes and claiming an assist for Jack Wilshere’s goal in Arsenal’s 4-1 win against West Bromwich Albion on the final day of the Premier League season.