Arsenal centre-back Gabriel has revealed he feels ‘at home’ at the club, which will come as a relief to fans following recent rumours that Barcelona are interested in the Brazilian.
Gabriel, who joined the Gunners from Lille in 2020 in a deal worth up to £27m, had been linked with a switch to Camp Nou by Catalan media as part of a squad revamp that could see both Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet moved out before next season.
The 24-year-old’s ability to play on the left side of a centre-back pairing was billed as the main reason why he could be attractive to a Barça squad with numerous existing right-footed options.
Yet Gabriel has been a critical part of what Mikel Arteta has been building in north London, starting all 27 of the club’s Premier League games since recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss the whole of August back at the start of the campaign – it is perhaps little coincidence that Arsenal had their worst start to a season in decades when he was unavailable.
Despite transfer speculation, the player himself appears fully committed to the club.
“In my first season I certainly learnt a lot,” he told Premier League productions.
“It’s been a real challenge here and I am more and more settled every day. I feel better and better with each passing game,” he added.
“At the same time, we know we all can’t be perfect in every match. We do make mistakes. But I feel good, I feel at home at Arsenal. It’s a great squad to be a part of and together I am sure we can achieve a lot. I am very happy here.”
The challenge for Gabriel and Arsenal is to get into the Champions League. Recent defeats against Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Brighton have dented their hopes after an excellent run previously, but they remain only three points behind fourth place Tottenham with a game in hand.