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Mikel Arteta predicts a bright future for Brazilian defender Gabriel at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

Arsenal’s Brazilian defender Gabriel has “an incredible future” ahead of him according to Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

The 23-year-old centre-half made another outstanding contribution as Arsenal secured back-to-back Premier League wins in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Burnley thanks to Martin Odegaard’s fine first-half free-kick.

Gabriel has helped Arteta’s side keep successive clean sheets in his first two appearances of the season after missing their opening three defeats due to a knee injury.

Gabriel, left, has impressed after recovering from a knee injury

Gabriel, left, has impressed after recovering from a knee injury (Alastair Grant/PA)

Arteta said: “We didn’t have him, so we don’t know how much we missed him, but we know he’s a player with an incredible future and is already giving us a lot.

“He has adapted really well to the league. That’s why we signed him. He is stepping in, his language is much better and he can coach and communicate much better with his team-mates.”

Gabriel, signed for £23.14million from Lille in September last year, was calmness personified as he helped snuff out the combative threat of Burnley’s strike duo Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.

“He understands what we want and I don’t think it gets much harder than playing here in the Premier League,” Arteta said. “He was terrific today.”

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Midfielder Thomas Partey, another player who has much more to offer following his arrival in the summer of 2020, was also key to the Gunners’ battling display.

“He’s really important because he is the anchor and he is the one that needs to read what is happening and make the rest better,” Arteta said of the 27-year-old Ghana international.

Arsenal’s victory at Turf Moor has lifted them up to 13th place and left Burnley winless after their first five top-flight matches.

The Clarets were aggrieved at referee Anthony Taylor, who awarded them a second-half penalty after Matej Vydra had gone down under goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale’s challenge, only to reverse his decision after watching the replay.

Referee Anthony Taylor changed his penalty decision after viewing the pitch-side VAR screen at Turf Moor

Referee Anthony Taylor changed his penalty decision after viewing the pitch-side VAR screen at Turf Moor (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Burnley sit second from bottom – they have not won in 13 home league games stretching back to last season – but they were always in the hunt and boss Sean Dyche saw enough to remain optimistic.

Maxwel Cornet, a £12.85million signing from Lyon in August, was given a rapturous welcome by Clarets fans when he made his debut off the bench.

The Ivory Coast international’s sharp movement and deft touch lifted the home crowd further and Clarets defender Charlie Taylor said he has been impressed.

Taylor told Burnley’s official website: “Maxwel obviously lifted the place. That was a huge boost and a huge buzz for us before he’d even kicked a ball.

“He’s bright, we’ve seen it in training for a few weeks and I’m sure he can have a huge impact upon this club.”

Taylor, 28 on Saturday, added: “We’ve played well for large parts of the game and come away with nothing. For us, it’s a frustrating one, but obviously there are positive signs there.”