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Arsene Wenger and Mathieu Flamini on Gabriel Paulista's debut


Manager Arsene Wenger was happy with Gabriel Paulista's first game in an Arsenal shirt.

The 24-year-old played the full 90 minutes on Sunday against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and the Arsenal boss believes the defender has the potential to be a big asset in his formation.

"He did really well and you see there's some great potential there, some good focus, good urgency, good desire to defend," Wenger told the club's official website.

"He made a great recovery tackle in the box and I believe it's very positive for a first game. He played a little bit with nervousness but overall he had a good performance."

Wenger's praise was echoed by midfielder Mathieu Flamini who reiterated Gabriel's importance ahead of the last part of the season.

"He played very well and he found his place in the team," the Frenchman told Arsenal Player.

"It's a very good beginning, The English game is very physical so it's very good for him because he's learning very quickly.

"He's not talking English at all so we're just trying to adapt with him. He played very well so sometimes you don't need to speak English to find your place in the Arsenal team.

"He's a very good character and a very good boy so we're trying our best to make him part of the team and I think we're doing well because he had a great game."

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Arsene Wenger, Gabriel Paulista, Mathieu Flamini