Arsenal defensive rock on his decision to snub Juventus interest

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel insists he remains fully committed to Mikel Arteta’s side, however, admits it was rewarding to have been rumoured with prestigious teams over the summer, including the likes of Juventus and Barcelona.

The Brazil international joined the North London giants, from Lille two years ago and has established himself as a cornerstone of Mikel Arteta’s team.

Gabriel’s form last term in particular attracted the attention of several European heavyweights, however, despite the lack of Champions League football currently on offer at the Emirates Stadium, the 24-year-old stays fully committed to his manager’s rebuilding project.

‘It’s always nice to get that recognition but I’m really focused on Arsenal,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘I am very happy here. I’ve got a good relationship with my team-mates and I am fully committed to the project.

‘I am convinced that, with the project we have, we can achieve a lot.’

The Gunners campaign got off to a more than encouraging start last Friday when Gabriel, alongside the returning William Saliba who made a belated and encouraging debut, helped ensure a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace.

Saliba has had to wait three years to make his competitive bow for the North London giants having been loaned out on three separate occasions following a £27m move from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2019.

The wait looks to have been well worth it, but, and such was his form at Selhurst Park, allied to those in pre-season, that it looks as though he will be a permanent fixture in the side over the coming weeks.

‘I have been here for two years now, so I do have experience that I can use to help him,’ said Gabriel of his role in helping Saliba adjust to English football.

‘But at the same time, he can help me. He has a lot of quality and a lot of physical strength out on the pitch.

‘We have similar qualities. I think we complement each other well.’