Arsenal’s Gabriel Paulista will take time to adjust, says Chelsea legend

Pat Nevin runs the rule on Arsenal debutant Gabriel Paulista

Gabriel Paulista will take time to adjust to English football, according to Chelsea legend Pat Nevin.

The 24-year-old made his Arsenal debut in the FA Cup on Sunday as the Gunners were 2-0 winners against Championship side Middlesbrough at Emirates Stadium.

Although Gabriel played his part in a clean sheet for the hosts, the uncapped Brazilian looked nervy at points throughout the fifth-round tie.

But former Chelsea midfielder Nevin was quick to defend the £16m January signing after the centre-half’s first game in Arsenal colours.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Nevin said: “You have to remember that Gabriel is not 100% match fit at this level and it will take time. But he has been quite up and down so far.

“If there have been any problems in the Arsenal defence he has been at the heart of it.”

Gabriel, who has been handed the No5 shirt at The Emirates, completed a January switch to Arsenal from La Liga outfit Villarreal.

The South American won two Campeonato Baiano titles before the defender sealed a switch to La Liga side Villarreal in 2013.

The Sao Paulo-born star made 50 appearances for the Yellow Submarine in all competitions after signing a five-year deal upon his La Liga move.

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