Arteta hails defender with ‘incredible future’ after Burnley win

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has praised Gabriel as a player with an “incredible future” after his performance against Burnley.

Gabriel, 23, returned to the side against Norwich last weekend and put in a solid performance as Arsenal picked up their first points of the season.

He then impressed again in another 1-0 win at Turf Moor, making it two clean sheets in two since his recovery from a knee injury.

Arteta refused to admit his presence was missed during the first three games of the season, which Arsenal lost 2-0 (twice) and 5-0, but acknowledged the impact he has made since his return.

“We didn’t have him, so we don’t know how much we missed him, but we know he’s a player with an incredible future and is already giving us a lot,” he said.

“He has adapted really well to the league. That’s why we signed him. He is stepping in, his language is much better and he can coach and communicate much better with his team-mates.

“He understands what we want and I don’t think it gets much harder than playing here in the Premier League. He was terrific today.”

Gabriel, signed for £23million from Lille in September last year, will be looking to improve on the displays from his debut campaign, which he admitted was a learning curve.

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“I can say that it’s not been a perfect year, because if it were a perfect year we would be at the top of the table, but it’s been a year of great learning, because it’s my first in the Premier League,” he told ESPN Brasil in April.  “I’m very happy here, I already feel at home, little by little I’m learning English.

“It’s been a learning season, which will certainly be remembered for the rest of my life. There were moments of learning, sadness, but as I said, a season that will be useful.”

On Arsenal’s prospects, he added: “We are a team that, in my eyes and those of many too, is a very high quality team, of young players and you see how Bukayo [Saka] is a revelation for the team, he’s a very young player who now plays for England.

“We have [Nicolas] Pepe, Emile [Smith Rowe], who is now also playing again, so we have a very good team.”

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