Gabriel Paulista is struggling with language barrier at Arsenal

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Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista claims he only has one problem with life at the Emirates Stadium: the language barrier.

The Brazilian centre-back, who joined the Gunners from Villarreal in January, is still getting to grips with the English language but insists he feels settled in his new surroundings.

Gabriel has made five appearances for Arsenal since his £11.3 million transfer, with Gunners' boss Arsene Wenger opting to ease the Brazilian in slowly rather than throwing him straight into the deep end.

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Gabriel: Speaking is a problem

“My biggest problem is just speaking but in terms of settling, I am totally adapted here at the club and with my team-mates, who are all wonderful and friendly,” Gabriel told the Arsenal Magazine. “It’s a family club. Everyone that works at the club is respectful and very attentive, they are always at your disposal.

“So I am very happy and so is my family. My wife and my son are happy. If my wife and my son are happy I feel even happier, and it gives me more strength and more will to work.”

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Wenger easing Gabriel in gently

Gabriel, 24, will be hoping to establish himself as a first-team regular next season, once he has a better grasp of English and is more familiar with the Premier League.

He currently finds himself behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order, but did start ahead of the latter in Arsenal's recent 2-1 win over Newcastle United.

Mertesacker should make way for Gabriel

Mertesacker, 30, could be the one forced to make way for Gabriel. The German World Cup winner has looked unconvincing at times this season while his lack of pace is sometimes a real issue, despite his ability to read the game.

Gabriel received a further boost at the weekend when he was handed a surprise call-up to the Brazil national team following the withdrawals of David Luiz and Marquinhos through injury.

That Brazil's next fixture, against Chile this Sunday, takes place at the Emirates Stadium may have been a factor behind Dunga's decision to take a closer look at the Brazilian, who was relatively unknown in his home country prior to his move to Arsenal.

Should Gabriel continue to impress between now and the end of the season then there's every chance Dunga will name the Arsenal defender in his squad for the Copa America this summer.

Arsenal fans: should Gabriel start ahead of Mertesacker every week? Have your say in the comments below!

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Per Mertesacker
Premier League
Gabriel Paulista

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