Gabriel Paulista: New Arsenal signing says Gilberto Silva was a major inspiration for him

Holding midfielder Gilberto was one of 2004's 'Invincibles'

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The Independent Football

New Arsenal signing Gabriel says Gilberto Silva was a major inspiration for him when he was growing up.

The defender Gabriel, a recent £13.5m addition from Villarreal, has revealed that he hopes to emulate fellow Brazilian Gilberto at Arsenal.

Gilberto enjoyed six successful years with the Gunners between 2002 and 2008, and the holding midfielder was an integral part of the unbeaten Premier League 'Invincibles' team of 2003/04.

"I remember Gilberto Silva because he was always with the Brazilian national team," Gabriel told Arsenal Player.

"He was a mirror for every Brazilian player and every child, who looked up to Gilberto Silva as a reference. He was an influence for many players, not only Brazilians but players around the world.


"I could see that he was a major element here, he really helped the team, he really is a player I want to emulate because of his type of work and his will to help his team-mates, his will to win as a true Brazilian.

"To me he’s a mirror, so I will always take many good things I saw in him and take it to the pitch, and off the pitch as well, because I think he was an excellent professional who did many good things.

"I want to be like him, to be able to do the most I can to help everyone."

The 24-year-old Gabriel was an unused substitute in Arsenal's