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Gabriel reveals the importance of Nicolas Pepe in his Arsenal decision amid Everton interest

Gabriel reveals the importance of Nicolas Pepe in his Arsenal decision amid Everton interest

Gabriel reveals the importance of Nicolas Pepe in his Arsenal decision amid Everton interest

Gabriel reveals the importance of Nicolas Pepe in his Arsenal decision amid Everton interest

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel was very nearly lining up in Everton colours before he completed his switch to the Emirates in the summer of 2020, and has revealed the importance of Nicolas Pepe on his eventual decision to join the Ivorian in north London.

In an interview relayed by Le Petit Lillois (relayed by Sports Witness), the Brazilian defender revealed that he always knew he was going to leave the French side midway through the 2019/20 season, but it was Everton, not the Emirates, that was set to be his destination.

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‘Lille are a great club, a club that sells a lot so I knew I had to show myself’, he recounted. ‘In the winter (of the 2019-2020 season) before the league stopped, I was already meant to sign for Everton. I underwent my medical, etc…’

However, something went wrong, derailing the Everton option and leaving Arsenal and Napoli to fight it between them for his signature. And in the end, it was Nicolas Pepe, who made the same switch the previous season, who sold the Arsenal dream to the Brazilian

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‘But it didn’t get done. I had already envisioned myself leaving after that season. I spoke with Napoli, Everton once again, but I then chose Arsenal thanks to Nicolas Pépé, who sold the club well to me.’

How has he done?

While Pepe’s career in north London has not gone the way he would have wanted it to, Gabriel has gone from strength to strength and is now considered an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s back four.

Having formed a strong partnership with Ben White at the heart of the defence, keeping 11 clean sheets this season and popping up with three crucial goals too.

At 23 years old, he promises to be a defender Arsenal count on in the future, and one Everton continue to rue missing out on.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 27 47 66
2 Liverpool FC 26 50 60
3 Chelsea FC 25 31 50
4 Manchester United 27 10 47
5 West Ham United 27 12 45
6 Arsenal FC 24 11 45
7 Tottenham Hotspur 25 3 42
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 26 3 40
9 Southampton FC 26 -3 35
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 26 -5 33
11 Crystal Palace 27 -1 30
12 Leicester City 24 -4 30
13 Aston Villa 25 -4 30
14 Newcastle United 25 -17 25
15 Brentford FC 27 -17 24
16 Leeds United 26 -31 23
17 Everton FC 24 -13 22
18 Burnley FC 25 -10 21
19 Watford FC 26 -22 19
20 Norwich City 26 -40 17
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 19
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 12
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 11
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 9
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 9
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 9
Raphinha Leeds United 9
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 8
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 8
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 8
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 8
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 7
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