Wenger swoops for £11.2million Brazilian

Arsenal have completed the signing of Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista for an £11.2million fee.

Paulista was able to obtain a work permit earlier in the week, and has now been officially been unveiled by the Gunners.

The transfer also saw Arsenal striker Joel Campbell move in the other direction on loan, although the youngster did agree on a new long-term contract before finalising the switch.

Gabriel told the club’s website: “I came from a club that is not that big in Brazilian football. I went to Spanish football and that was another dream come true, to play in Europe.

“I have only just arrived but I am already feeling really good here in London. I’m at a top club so that gives me more strength to be able to work and carry on, to be able to conquer much more in my career.

“I always watched Arsenal games and I could always see that it was a really big club with a great infrastructure.

“It’s a huge club, even more so than I expected. I am very happy with everything – with all the people I have been dealing with since I arrived.

“A while ago I had a really huge desire to be able to play in the Premier League, so since that point I put it in my head that I really wanted to do it.

“I had a talk with my family and I told them that it was my dream to play in the Premier League. I just got this call – Arsenal came to sign me, so to me, for my work, for everything I have been doing, things are just happening for me. Getting here to such a big club is so gratifying.

“In our pre-season we played two friendly games here in England, so from then on it just started. Something came over me, I can’t explain it… good things, I just wanted to play here in England.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been keen on capturing  a defender in the January window and will surely be delighted after adding Paulista to his back-line.

The centre-back has been an integral player at Villarreal the last two seasons, where  the club is currently sitting sixth in the La Liga table.

With the Gunners suffering from injury issues during the first half of the season, Paulista is guaranteed to add depth to the first-team.

But the Brazilian is already expected to be pushed straight into the action, and could even start when Arsene Wenger’s men host Aston Villa at the Emirates this weekend.