Gabriel ready to become Arsenal regular – Wenger

Date published: Thursday 31st December 2015 1:53 - James Marshment

Gabriel: Hoping to keep his place against Leicester

Arsene Wenger has hailed the improvement made by Gabriel at Arsenal and insists he is now ready to become a first-team regular for the Gunners.

While the likes of Mesut Ozil is almost certain to start Saturday’s match against Newcastle, Gabriel is another player who will be hoping to keep his place having been drafted into the centre of defence as a replacement for Laurent Koscielny on Monday.

The Brazilian moved to the Emirates Stadium from Villarreal last January but the game against the Cherries was just his 14th Premier League appearance.

He has mostly been in the role of cover for both Koscielny and Per Mertesacker but Wenger has backed the 25-year-old to push for a regular place having also opened his goalscoring account for Arsenal in the win.

“Yes, he is ready,” Wenger replied when asked if Gabriel could stay in the side.

“I played him in a few games since the start of the season. I play him in training with Koscielny, with Mertesacker, we have three central defenders 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 until the end of the season he will play more games.”

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