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Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista reminds David Seaman 'of a cross between Des Walker and Martin Keown'

But former Arsenal goalkeeper has no idea why the Brazilian triggers memories of his former England team-mates

Jack de Menezes
Thursday 16 April 2015 15:38 BST
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A cross between Des Waler and Martin Keown (left), and Gabriel Paulista (right)
A cross between Des Waler and Martin Keown (left), and Gabriel Paulista (right) (Getty Images)

Arsenal's January signing Gabriel Paulista is a combination of ex-England defenders Martin Keown and Des Walker.

That’s the opinion of Gunners favourite David Seaman, who can’t quite pinpoint what it is about the Brazilian defender that reminds him of the footballers of years gone by. Walker, the former Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday centre-back, hung up his boots for good in 2004, while Keown brought the curtain down in 2005 after spells with Leicester City and Reading following his Arsenal departure.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger moved in the January transfer window to bring in Paulista from Villarreal, and while the 24-year-old has only made five Premier League appearances to date, he has shown enough to convince Seaman that he was a good buy from Wenger and solve the problem that Arsenal had at the back.

“Yes, I think he can solve that problem [in defence],” Seaman tells The Independent. “The thing is with [Per] Mertesacker we don’t know how long he’s going to go on for. I understand that he’s retired from international football which is giving signals of what’s going on in his mind.

Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista
Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista (GETTY IMAGES)

“With Paulista, he reminds me of a cross between Des Walker and Martin Keown, that’s who he reminds me of! I don’t know why! The way that he plays and looks just reminds me of that, but he’s had a few injuries and it will take him some time to adjust to the Premier League, because it does.”

Seaman adds that the Gunners’ faithful needs to give Paulista time to become acclimatised with English football. Much is made of the demands that the Premier League poses, but the 51-year-old stresses that the adjustment is a big one and tipped the centre-back to come good very soon.

Former England defender Des Walker
Former England defender Des Walker (Getty Images)
Former Arsenal and England centre-back Martin Keown
Former Arsenal and England centre-back Martin Keown (Getty Images)

“All the players who came in when I was at the club, they were brilliant players all of them, but took a season to get used to the Premier League, because they don’t realise how fast and physical it is,” Seaman added. “He’s had a few niggles and stuff and he’ll settle in, and he’ll be a better player for it.”

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