Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista has joined Spanish La Liga side Valencia for £10m, after making 64 appearances for the Gunners in two years. The Brazilian centre-back was yet to feature this season as he’s recovering from a knee injury, but manager Arsene Wenger deemed him surplus to requirements given the vast options in his stead.
The 26-year-old joined Arsenal in 2015 from Villarreal for around £15m but never managed to nail down a starting place for a prolonged period of time. With the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and Laurent Koscielny ahead of Gabriel in the pecking order, chances were always going to be limited. Per Mertesacker and Calum Chambers provide the cover at centre-back, while new-boy Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal can also play in the middle.
Valencia have been in the market for a central defender this summer, with manager Marcelino García Toral admitting the club were looking at three options ahead of the new season – Inter Milan and Colombia defender Jeison Murrillo, FC Porto and Spain defender Ivan Marcano and Arsenal’s Gabriel. They eventually went for the latter.
His sale is somewhat of a surprise this summer given there was little indications from the club that Gabriel was up for sale. A lot of talk was made on the deadwood needing to be sold, but few knew the Brazilian was one of the players on the list. Arsenal now turn their attention to league matters, however, and are 10/11 to win against Stoke City in Saturday evening’s clash at the Britannia Stadium.