Gabriel Paulista Perfect For Arsenal’s Defensive Needs, But Can He Get a Work Permit?


With news outlets claiming that Gabriel Paulista and Arsenal have agreed on a 15 million pound deal, the first major deal of the transfer window is nearly complete for Arsenal. With the move hinging on a work permit, however, the time frame of his arrival is incredibly muddled.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

But as for the man himself, Gabriel Paulista is everything that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal need in a centre back. Wenger has finally found Mr. Right.

Paulista is the anchor of a Villarreal defense that has given up the third least goals in La Liga, behind only Barcelona and Real Madrid. He’s ambidextrous and can play anywhere along the back line.

ESPNFC compares his skill set to that of Laurent Kocielny, saying:

"“Paulista’s style of play is comparable with that of Koscielny. Both favour a rugged man-marking approach, using their speed and reading of the game to nip at the heels of attacker. Like Koscielny, Paulista is equally capable of instigating a move for his own team as snuffing out one from the opposition.”"

They go on to point out that Kocielny was a relatively unknown player until he arrived at Arsenal as well.

All signs point to this being another brilliant transfer by Arsene Wenger, and one that’s sorely needed.

The problem?

A work permit. Paulista is no guarantee to qualify for one. As ESPNFC went on to point out: “There’s no guarantee that Paulista would qualify for a UK work permit. He’s currently uncapped at the international level and has not yet spent the requisite amount of time in Spain to gain a European passport.”

He may be forced into a Joel Campbell and Carlos Vela situation where he has to go out on loan for years until he can get all that’s required.

But would Wenger really sign him without knowing Arsenal could acquire his services right away? I’m not convinced.

We’ll just have to wait and see. Normally transfers are as easy as interest from both parties and paying a fee. Not in this case.

Follow Pain in the Arsenal on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Next: Where does Calum Chambers fit in at Arsenal?