Interview

Gabriel: Why I’m loving life at Arsenal

Gabriel celebrates by making a heart sign

Having signed a new long-term deal in October, it’s safe to say Gabriel is enjoying life in north London.

Our defender has become a key first-team player since arriving from Lille in the summer of 2020, and has thrived at the heart of our defence this season, featuring in every Premier League match so far this campaign which sees us heading into 2023 on top of the league.

That is something he is attributing to the influence of Mikel Arteta. “We’ve got a very good relationship,” the defender explained. “We’re always chatting. He’s a manager who is very close with his players and he’s very influential.

“He’s helped me a lot since I arrived here. He’s a great person and really looks after every person in the team - it’s like a family. He makes us happy and that gives us a real desire to win.

“All the players are working hard together and the most important thing is that everybody wants to play and everybody wants to win. The group is very united together and we are on this journey [together]. There’s still a lot of work to do but we hope that we can stay focused and get the job [done].”

Gabriel feels our summer signings have also played a key role in our ascent to the division's summit, as has the emergence of William Saliba, with whom the Brazilian has forged a strong centre-back partnership with in the heart of our backline.

“They’ve brought a lot of quality to this group,” he added. “We’re a very young team and these new players have brought a real desire to win and experience [in winning]. We’re still working together with that desire to win and that experience.

“[Zinchenko and Jesus] won a lot of titles at their previous club and we know the quality they have. They came here to help us. Gabby Jesus has been injured - he’s so important for the team and he helps us a lot. He brings that experience to the group.

“Wilo was out on loan but he’s come back as a much more mature player. He’s got good quality and we’ve got good communication between us, especially given it’s only our first season together. We work hard every day and that’s helping us to get results on the pitch.”

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