Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on January signing Gabriel Paulista after the club’s 2-0 FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Paulista joined the Gunners from Villarreal for £11.2million last month, and finally made his debut against Boro this past weekend.
And after the game, Wenger seemed to be proud of his winter capture, with the French boss insisting that the Brazilian has the ability to develop into a top-class defender.
“Gabriel Paulista made a great recovery tackle in the box,” he said.
“He wants to defend, he has good urgency levels and a good physique and technical qualities.
“He is short language-wise but the intelligent players compensate with vision.
“He looks at what his partners are doing, and he did that well.”
Arsenal’s win over Middesbrough sent the Gunners into the next round of England’s oldest cup competition, and Wenger knows this is a huge opportunity to retain the FA Cup with Premier League powerhouses Manchester City and Chelsea both knocked out of the competition by lower league sides.
France international striker Olivier Giroud grabbed a brace against Boro on Sunday and will hope he can retain his place in the starting line-up after being dropped for the club’s 2-1 home victory of Leicester City last Tuesday.