Gabriel & Willian’s performance on debut Amazed me, Holding to Stay – Arteta

Gabriel & Willian’s performance on debut Amazed me, Holding to Stay – Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praises the performance of debutant defender Gabriel, who scored on his debut for the club in their 3-0 win at Fulham.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praises the performance of debutant defender Gabriel, who scored on his debut for the club in their 3-0 win at Fulham.

Braziliant business! Arsenal's new Samba stars Willian & Gabriel hit the  ground gunning | Goal.com

Willian had a fantastic debut. For Nicolas Pepe to see that how much can that spur him on?

“Well, it’s not for Nico, I think it’s all the players that were on the bench and the ones that we had to leave at home. They have to raise their level and then the performances of the club are going to improve.

Fulham 0-3 Arsenal: Willian and Gabriel hit the ground running in routine  Gunners win

“This is what I demand. I’m really happy with all the boys in training but selection is getting more complicated. As well, we just have 18 players in the squad, it makes it very difficult. But they were really good.”

Following Arsenal’s comfortable season-opening 3-0 win against Fulham, Mikel Arteta insisted that defender Rob Holding wouldn’t be leaving on loan following his solid performance.

Can you talk through the performances of Gabriel and Willian?

“They were both really good. For Willian it’s a little bit different because he knows the league, the country and is very settled here. So I knew his performance would happen straight away. For Gabriel, it was a big challenge for him today to come in. He hasn’t played football in the last six months and he had a terrific performance.”

Would you have ideally given Gabriel a few weeks to adapt before his debut or was it the plan for him to start?

“No, ideally I wanted to give him some time because he only trained for a few days with the team. Physically, he hasn’t played a competitive match in six months so it was a risk with injury as well but credit to him. He performed really well, physically he felt good and I was very happy today.”

David Luiz dropped but wonderkid starts - How Arsenal could line-up with  new signings Gabriel, William Saliba, and Willian

Arteta told BT Sport ‘I said to him (Holding) change your mind because you’re not going anywhere’.

The Athletic claimed a couple of weeks ago that the centre-back was set to join Newcastle on a season-long loan deal, however the Mail recently reported that Holding’s improvement has impressed Arteta.

Holding was at the heart of the north London outfit’s defence this afternoon, alongside summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney – who is starring on the left of a centre-back three.

Holding is clearly full of confidence, the former England youth international showed as much with a brilliant and skilful run which led to the corner that saw defensive partner Gabriel score his first goal.

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