Arsenal have confirmed the departure of defender Gabriel Paulista to Spanish side Valencia.
Gabriel signed for the Gunners back in 2015 for £15million from Villarreal, and was soon named a panic-buy from boss Arsene Wenger after a series of average performances. However, most of such opinions changed during the climax of the previous campaign.
Though the Sao Paulo-born defender fell further below Wenger’s pecking order following the arrival of Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers, he managed to produce top-notch performances towards the end of the season.
Furthermore, Paulista also answered the call at right-back when Hector Bellerin and Mathieu Debuchy were unavailable. And much to everyone’s surprise, he was even seen playing as a defensive midfielder on several occasions.
However, an unexpected injury blow saw the Brazillian sit out the FA Cup final and Community Shield match against champions Chelsea.
Meanwhile, following constant links to the Spanish giants and being spotted at Valencia Airport, the North Londoners have released an official statement confirming the centre-back’s departure.
Arsenal released an official statement regarding the move, which read: ‘For many supporters, his finest performance in an Arsenal shirt came in last season’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City, when his aerial dominance and tough tackling helped put us on our way to the final.
‘We would like to thank Gabriel for his contribution to the club and to wish him well for his return to La Liga with Valencia.’
The 26-year-old made 64 appearances for the English giants, and scored a towering header during his 2-year spell at the Emirates whilst also winning 2 FA Cups along the way.
Written by Ashish Sreejith
Have had two addictions in life- playing football and watching football. Usually described as introverted but not when it comes to speaking and writing about the beautiful game of football.