Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that Brazilian defender Gabriel is ‘ready’ to make the step up to regular first team football now.
The 25-year-old has played a bit-part role up until this point, standing in for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny when called upon, but was impressive for the Gunners in their 2-0 victory over Bournemouth on Monday afternoon.
Gabriel scored his first goal for Arsenal, a powerful header from a Mesut Ozil free-kick, while keeping a clean sheet on the other side of the pitch.
Speaking on the ex-Villarreal defender, Wenger claimed that Gabriel is now ready to feature more regularly.
He is ready. I played him in a few games since the start of the season.
However, with Mertesacker and Koscielny forming such a formidable partnership, the Gunners boss admitted he is unsure as to the best rotation method at this point between the three.
I play him in training with Koscielny, with Mertesacker, we have three central defenders [and] that will be needed, but how I rotate them I haven’t decided yet. I trust him completely. He wants to play more, of course.
I think as well that he is happy here and I’m sure before the end of the season he will play more games.
Arsenal face Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with the home side looking to keep up their fantastic early season form, which has seen them rise to top of the Premier League table.