LONDON — Arsenal strengthened its defence further ahead of the new Premier League season by signing centre back Gabriel from French club Lille on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old Brazilian joined on a “long-term contract," Arsenal said, for a reported fee of 30 million euros ($35 million).
“He is a player we have been studying for a while and he was in demand from many clubs, so we are proud to have agreed and completed this transfer,” Arsenal technical director Edu said.
Composed on the ball and cool under pressure, the Sao Paulo-born Gabriel is regarded as one of the most highly rated young defenders in Europe. He helped Lille to a fourth-place finish in the French league last season and started all six of its Champions League group-stage matches.
Arsenal has already signed right back Cedric Soares and centre back Pablo Mari on permanent deals after loan spells last season. Another centre back, William Saliba, linked up with Arsenal in the off-season having signed from Saint-Etienne in January before returning to the French club on loan.
“He has many qualities which will make us stronger as a defensive unit and as a team,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. "He has proved with Lille that he is a defender with many outstanding attributes and we are looking forward to watching him grow as an Arsenal player.”
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