Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal: Gunners legend Thierry Henry praises 'special talent' Gabriel

The deal is expected to be announced imminently

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The Independent Football

Incoming Arsenal signing Gabriel Paulista could be a "special talent", according to Gunners great Thierry Henry.

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The north Londoners could announce the signing as early as today, with the 24-year-old moving from Villarreal for a reported £13.5m. Joel Campbell has gone to the Spaniards on loan for the remainder of the season as part of the deal.

Paulista had reportedly flown to Paris to complete the legal requirements on his move and speed up the process of getting a work permit as he has yet to play for the Brazil national team.

Arsenal are hopeful that his French trip will make him available in time for Sunday's home match against Aston Villa.


"Arsene [Wenger] knows what he needs," Henry said.

"He obviously thinks the team is lacking a centre-back.

"Arsenal are going to get a young but polished player. I've heard he is a special talent."

Henry2.jpg The defence has been an area of concern for Gunners' manager Wenger this season, with the club forced to play left-back Nacho Monreal in the centre to deputise for the injured Laurent Koscielny. Right-back Mathieu Debuchy is sidleined for three months after

Henry, of course, ended his Arsenal career after a second spell in 2012. The Frenchman, 37, scored a club-record 228 goals for the Gunners.