How a phone call from Mikel Arteta convinced Gabriel to sign for Arsenal

Edu played a key role in convincing Gabriel to choose us his next club – but what exactly did our technical director say?

Our new No 6 revealed that detailed talks with his Brazilian compatriot and Mikel Arteta were decisive as he sought to choose between a number of suitors.

“[Edu and I] had several chats about Arsenal and the new project, we had many good conversations,’ Gabriel told Arsenal Digital.

“As the days went by I was getting very excited about it, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring.

“Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot. That is the very reason I am here today.

“We did not talk about [details], he just told me he is aware of my quality, my capacity and how far I can go. He also said he will be very demanding with me.

“I know he is a great coach and I will make progress with his help.”

The Brazilian centre back said the sheer number of messages he received over social media telling him to move to north London.

“So many fans were sending me messages asking me to join Arsenal, and that played a big part in me signing for this club,” Gabriel told Arsenal Digital.

“I know the history and traditions of this club and it is a pleasure being here. I am very happy and hope I can contribute to many titles with the Arsenal shirt.

“It was a very surreal experience, there were offers coming from a few different clubs.

“I spoke a lot with my family and my agents, I also spoke with some of Lille’s directors, but as I said, this club’s history and traditions and the team project for the next few years were very motivational for my decision to come here.

“So here I am, wearing the Arsenal shirt, I will give my best for it and come on you Gunners!”