Darren Bent has told talkSPORT that Gabriel is the one Arsenal player to have really stepped up in recent times, while he suggested that Kieran Tierney should also get pass marks.
Mikel Arteta is coming under more pressure than he has faced at any other time during his tenure. The Gunners have won one league game since the start of November.
It is also almost two months since they scored more than once in a top flight fixture. In fact, Gabriel is the only player to score from open play in the league since that win over Sheffield United.
The centre-back has taken little time to establish himself as a key man in Arteta’s side. And Bent claimed that he is actually one of the only members of the Gunners squad who could be content with his recent form.
“There’s no leaders. I think, out of all of the players there, Gabriel, he’s the one who’s stepped up,” he told talkSPORT.
“He’s done really well since he came in. Tierney at times. But there’s a real lack of belief and identity in this Arsenal squad.”
It is encouraging that Gabriel has done so well since arriving at the Emirates. He is still developing and learning his game. And thus, there is room for the Brazilian – who cost £23.14 million, according to BBC Sport – to get even better in the coming years.
Tierney meanwhile, is a player who regularly seems to receive credit because his effort simply can never be questioned. He clearly gives everything while he is out on the pitch.
And it is players such as Gabriel and Tierney who will leave Arsenal fans with some hope that they can get back on track and make progress after their recent slump.