Laurent Koscielny says Gabriel is ready for Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash against Chelsea.
The Brazilian defender has played seven times since joining in January but could start after Per Mertesacker limped off during Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Reading.
Koscielny has played the majority of those games alongside Gabriel, and says he has no concerns about being paired with the Brazilian.
"He’s strong, he’s quick, his mentality means he is ready to fight against Chelsea, so I don’t have any problems with starting alongside him"
“I play very well with Per but I also play very well with Gabriel as well,” the France defender said. “They’re different players who approach the game differently but with the same quality.
“The most important thing is to establish a centre-back pairing, so we need to talk a lot. I know that Gabriel is trying to learn English so that’s good for us. We have good defenders who can play for the team and who want to win for the team.
“Gabriel only arrived in January but he has done well in the games he has played. He’s strong, he’s quick, his mentality means he is ready to fight against Chelsea, so I don’t have any problems with starting alongside him.
“We are well equipped to play Chelsea now,” added Koscielny. “We are stronger than we were at the start of the season and we want to keep our quality to extend our winning run.”
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