Date: 15th December 2016 at 8:37pm
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With an extended run in the first team of late, defender Gabriel has been speaking about what he believes are his best assets in the back line.

Having been with the club for three seasons in effect now following his January 2015 arrival, Gabriel has clocked up 38 starting appearances with an additional seven from the bench, and in that time he’s returned one goal.

Far more settled at the Emirates Stadium now and with eight appearances so far in 2016/17 – and six of those coming in the last six matches – Gabriel told the Official Site that whilst the Premier League takes some getting used to, it was a challenge he has relished and now more to grips with life in top flight than ever before he believes that his strength and speed are beginning to come to the fore as he capitalises on injuries this year to Hector Bellerin, Mathieu Debuchy and Shkodran Mustafi most recently.

‘I have improved a lot, I really have. Every league has its own characteristics. In Brazil, it’s more of a slow-paced game so I suffered a bit when I moved to Spain. It wasn’t easy to adapt to a much faster game where you only have two touches on the ball, so I had some difficulties. But in Spain there isn’t much physicality, that kind of a stronger game, like there is in the Premier League.’

So of course his Premier League introduction with the pace and physicality did take an adjustment but he went on to explain that he felt our top flight was more naturally suited to his own game.

‘Then I came to England and I think I’ve settled in quickly, maybe because strength and speed are two characteristics of my game. I`ve managed to adapt to this league, which is the best in the world for me.’

Having featured in the last six games for Arsene Wenger, Gabriel was delighted to be getting a good run in the side and he felt he was definitely benefiting from that at the moment, so his focus is on performing and ensuring he keeps his place.

‘The opportunities are coming now. Unfortunately, I had a chance because of Hector’s and Mathieu`s injuries but I’m trying to make the most of my chances. Also, the team is doing well this year. We made the top spot in our group in the Champions League, which is very important. Inside this club, the happiness and the atmosphere is really good. It’s like a family and that’s the reason things are going well, we’re playing well and winning matches. It’s because of this, which is the most important thing for me.’

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