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Aresnal's new signing Gabriel Paulista could make his debut against Aston Villa at the weekend, slotting in alongside Per Mertesacker in defence

Aresnal's new signing Gabriel Paulista could make his debut against Aston Villa at the weekend, slotting in alongside Per Mertesacker in defence

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Aresnal's new signing Gabriel Paulista could make his debut against Aston Villa at the weekend, slotting in alongside Per Mertesacker in defence

Arsene Wenger is intending to put Gabriel Paulista - his £11.3 million new centre-back - straight into the Arsenal squad and potentially even the starting team for Sunday's match against Aston Villa.

Gabriel will be registered in time for the match and, with Wenger still concerned about managing Laurent Koscielny's Achilles tendon injury, there is a chance of Gabriel being in central defence alongside Per Mertesacker.

In the absence of Mathieu Debuchy, there is also a possibility of him replacing Hector Bellerin at right-back. More likely is that Gabriel will start from the bench, but his inclusion in the squad, even after only a handful of training sessions, underlines how Wenger wants him involved and challenging for a place immediately.

Gabriel was ever-present for Villarreal in La Liga this season and is match-fit, although Wenger acknowledges that the player is likely to need a period of adjustment to English football.

Wenger, though, will want Gabriel ready as quickly as possible as Arsenal prepare to compete across three competitions in the coming weeks. The fixture schedule is likely to be particularly intense from next month, with Koscielny still having to manage an injury that has troubled him since the start of the season.

Knockout

Significantly, Gabriel is also available for the Champions League and will also be in Arsenal's squad for the knockout phase of the tournament.

"He is a promising Brazilian defender," said Wenger. "Just 24 years old and we got the work permit. He has good pace, he's good in the challenge and he's tall. So he can adapt to English football.

"This season he has played every game for Villarreal and we have seen him many times. We are convinced about his quality.

"He is very ambitious, focused and serious. That is important at a club like ours - you need to have a complete focus on your job. "Maybe it will take some time to adapt completely (but) I like the players who come from nowhere and show they can adapt. From Brazil, he has adapted to Spain. That means he has already made it and adapted in another country.

"We needed some cover, or we would not be responsible. He can play right-back and left-back, and that is a good quality as well.

"We needed another centre-back because we have lost Mathieu Debuchy. Nacho Monreal can play centre-back and we are a bit short there if something happens, especially with the Achilles problem of Koscielny since the start of the season." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk