Arsenal officially confirmed the transfer of Lille defender Gabriel on Tuesday, with the 22-year-old completing a £27million move to the Emirates and signing a long-term deal with the club.
Gabriel became Arteta’s second signing of the summer following the arrival of fellow Brazilian Willian from Chelsea on a free transfer.
There is now a growing contingent of Brazilians at Arsenal and Gabriel says he has always admired one of them ‘very much’.
‘For sure David Luiz is an example, he is a player I admire very much,’ Gabriel told Arsenal Digital. ‘I was always a big fan of him and everything he achieved.
‘I watched him since I was a kid, I played video games with his character and today it is a dream come true to be here with him and hopefully play next to him soon.
‘It is always good to have Brazilian players at the club to welcome me, it is very important for me. I don’t speak English very well and I will try to learn as fast as I can.
‘Nicolas Pepe is also a good friend of mine, also David they messaged me and welcomed me, this is very important to me and makes me very happy.
‘I cannot wait to meet the rest of the squad, Willian and Gabriel Martinelli too.’
Gabriel has also explained how Arsenal manager Arteta and technical director Edu convinced him to join the Premier League club amid interest from elsewhere.
‘As the days went by I was getting very excited about it, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring.
‘Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot. That is the very reason I am here today.
‘We did not talk about [details], he just told me he is aware of my quality, my capacity and how far I can go. He also said he will be very demanding with me.
‘I know he is a great coach and I will make progress with his help.’
Arsenal begin the 2020-21 Premier League campaign on September 12 against newly-promoted London rivals Fulham.