Gabriel Profile
Gabriel Profile


Combative central defender Gabriel signed during the 2015 winter transfer window, and wasted no time proving his credentials as a top-class defender.

The Brazilian joined from La Liga side Villarreal and quickly settled into Arsenal’s style of play, despite not speaking the language. He made eight appearances in all, after impressing during his first- team bow in the FA Cup win over Middlesbrough at Emirates Stadium in February.

Gabriel Profile

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

Arsenal won all eight games in which he played, keeping two clean sheets, and he was an unused substitute for the FA Cup final against Aston Villa at Wembley.

Gabriel (full name Gabriel Armando de Abreu, but also known as Gabriel Paulista) had spent one and a half seasons with Villarreal, helping them to finish sixth in 2013/14 and earn European qualification.

Strong in the tackle and dominant in the air, Gabriel came to Europe after impressing for Vitoria in Brazil, where he started his career. He won two regional league championships with the club – in 2010 and 2013 – and was named best central defender in the Bahia league in both 2012 and 2013.

Also able to play at full back, Gabriel started the current season without a full Brazil cap to his name. He was, however, selected by head coach Dunga for the friendly against Chile at Emirates Stadium in March 2015, although he did not make it off the bench.

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
Total 22 + 5 1 4 0 6 + 1 0 0 0 0 0 32 + 6 1

My Year

  • 2015/16
  • 2014/15


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.