Arsenal finally confirm the capture of Gabriel Paulista; work-permit granted

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Football News

Arsenal have confirmed the capture of Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista, who has been granted a work-permit to ensure that his move to the Emirates Stadium didn’t collapse at the eleventh hour.

The 24-year-old, who impressed this season in the heart of the defence at the Estadio El Madrigal, is primarily a centre-back but can also operate on either flank; a trait Arsene Wenger likes defenders to have.

Paulista move

As part of the deal, unveiled officially by Arsenal themselves, Joel Campbell will head the other way on a loan spell until the end of this campaign, with the Costa Rican looking for more game-time.

Primarily the agreement promises to end the worries that the Gunners would be left drastically short were either Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny to suffer a bad injury, though it also gives Wenger another option for a back-line that has looked shaky on more than one occasion this term.

Much has been made over the past few weeks about Arsenal's weaknesses in front of their own goal, with Southampton's 2-0 win at the St. Mary's Stadium on New Year's Day highlighting some particularly suspect flaws.

Since that day Wenger has steered his ship to four consecutive victories in all competitions, including an impressive triumph away at Manchester City, but even so injuries to the likes of Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs and Koscielny have made it abundantly clear that the Frenchman is bereft of talented individuals at the back.

Wenger plans

Paulista’s move follows that of young Polish midfielder Krystian Bielik, who moved from Legia Warsaw to north London earlier on in the transfer window, with Wenger clearly keen to remain active as he sets about polishing the imperfections in his squad.

Whilst the Brazilian's arrival looks like it has provided closure on supposed moves for Saint Etienne skipper Loic Perrin and West Ham star Winston Reid the search for a top-class defensive midfielder rumbles on, with just five days remaining in which to secure a deal.

Saints star Morgan Schneiderlin is reported to be a top target, as is Real Madrid star Asier Illarramendi, though supporters may have to wait for a summer transfer.

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