Gabriel became Arsenal's second signing of the January window on Wednesday and you can watch his first interview right here. Below is a transcript:
Gabriel, welcome to Arsenal. How does it feel to have signed for the club?
First of all I want to thank God for the opportunity. It’s another dream in my career that has come true. I have only just arrived but I am already feeling really good here in London. I’m at a top club so that gives me more strength to be able to work and carry on, to be able to conquer much more in my career.
What do you know about Arsenal?
I always watched Arsenal games and I could always see that it was a really big club with great infrastructure. So I think that what I thought hasn’t surprised me a lot, because I arrived to a very big infrastructure. It’s a huge club, even more so than I expected. I am very happy with everything - with all the people I have been dealing with since I arrived.
What appeals to you most about playing for the club?
"The fans can expect a Gabriel that on the field has a lot of will to be able to help the team win important things"
I came from a club that is not that big in Brazilian football. I went to Spanish football and that was another dream come true, to play in Europe. A while ago I had a really huge desire to be able to play in the Premier League, so since that point I put it in my head that I really wanted to do it. I had a talk with my family and I told them that it was my dream to play in the Premier League. And I don’t know, I just got this call - Arsenal came to sign me, so to me, for my work, for everything I have been doing, things are just happening for me. Getting here to such a big club is so gratifying.
That’s really good, it just happened out of the blue?
Yes, in our pre-season we played two friendly games here in England, so from then on it just started. Something came over me, I can’t explain it… good things, I just wanted to play here in England. I didn’t think of any teams or anything, I just knew I wanted to play in the Premier League. Thanks to God, this wonderful club came to me, and they can count on me to be able to help everybody here.
How much are you looking forward to playing at a ground like Emirates Stadium?
I am very anxious and that is something that is normal to a young player, playing at such a high level. So I am very anxious to be able to start at this huge, beautiful stadium, a stadium that the fans come to, to be able to support us. It’s something I’ve always noticed when I watch Arsenal. I’m really looking forward to training with my new team-mates, to get to know everyone and to have a good start.
How influential was Arsene Wenger in your decision to come to club?
To me it’s something big… I came on his request, on the coach’s request. He asked to sign me and to me that gives me more strength and the will to be able to work. I see that he’s a coach that has been here for many years and this is important, not only for the team but also for the club. This is very important for everyone that works here in the club, to have a coach like this.
What have you made of Arsenal’s performances this season?
The few games I have watched and witnessed, during the season, I saw that there is room for improvement. We have a lot to conquer because Arsenal is a very big club, we must always be at the top. I think it’s a club that will keep growing throughout the season, and that over the next few years we will be able to win important titles.
You will be competing with the likes of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for a place in the team. How highly do you rate them?
"I know that is not going to be easy, I must show my potential, I have to show that I can be in the group, that the manager can count on me"
I’m coming to a very big club and I know that I will play with great players. While respecting everyone, I want to play for my place in the team. I know that is not going to be easy, I must show my potential, I have to show that I can be in the group, that the manager can count on me. The same goes to all my team-mates. I will carry on the same way I have been since the beginning of my career. I have always respected everyone to get to where I am in my career, and I want even more.
How confident are you that Arsenal can compete for biggest prizes?
I know that we have great players of a high standard, players who are real stars, because if they were not stars they wouldn’t be here. Arsenal is a very big team and it must always be competing for the biggest titles in the world. I have to repeat it - Arsenal must fight for all the most important titles around.
Finally, have you got a message for the Arsenal fans?
I am arriving at a big club like this and the fans can expect to find a Gabriel with a great will to help everyone. Not just thinking of me as an individual, because to me that is not important. I care more about helping the team and my team-mates also think that. I want to help everyone, so the fans can expect a Gabriel that on the field has a lot of will to be able to help the team win important things.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.