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September 21, 2020

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Willian and Gabriel speak out on their spectacular Arsenal debuts

3 min read

Gabriel and Willian both impressed on their Premier League debuts for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal’s new signings Gabriel and Willian stole the show as Mikel Arteta’s side cantered to an opening day victory at Fulham.

Willian was credited with two assists and played a role in Alexandre Lacazette’s opener, while his Brazilian compatriot was a commanding presence at the back and marked his Premier League bow with a headed goal early in the second half.

Gabriel only had the benefit of several training sessions with his new team-mates before he was thrust into action amid a defensive injury crisis, but the former Lille centre-half, who cost £27million, hardly put a foot wrong.

Reacting to his first taste of English football, the 22-year-old said: ‘I’m very happy to make my debut, for the win and my goal, for being able to help my teammates. I haven’t been here long, but I got a good welcome and I’m very happy with that. There’s nothing better than starting with a win and a goal.

‘I am very happy to be able to work with him, I know I will learn a lot. It is a different style of play than what I had been doing, but it is a very good group of players where everyone tries to help each other. I hope this season will be a great season.’

Willian, meanwhile, was expected to hit the ground running by Arteta following his move from Chelsea and he fully justified his new manager’s faith with a highly efficient display.

Taking to Instagram, he wrote: ‘I’m very happy with my debut! Great team work guys! But it’s only the beginning, let’s keep working hard! Thanks for all the support Arsenal fans.’

Gabriel helped contribute to a rare clean sheet away from home for the Gunners and the former Lille star clearly impressed his new defensive partner Rob Holding who was also taken with Willian’s instant impact.

‘I know Willian from when we’ve played Chelsea,’ he said. ‘I know he’s got all the ability so it’s nice to have him in your team.

‘He proved today why we signed him and Gabriel was solid as a rock. He won everything aerially and finished off with a nice goal as well.’

MORE: Mikel Arteta reveals he has told wantaway Arsenal star to change his mind on his future

MORE: Mikel Arteta praises unsung Arsenal hero Mohamed Elneny against Fulham and reacts to Gabriel’s debut display

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