Arsenal star Gabriel has opened up about how he convinced defender Nicolas Pepe to turn down Everton and switch to the Emirates.
The Brazilian centre-back, who played alongside the Ivorian winger at Lille, joined Arsenal from the French club in 2020 for £27m.
Gabriel has become a key player under Mikel Arteta, with the 24-year-old forging a formidable partnership with Ben White at the center of defence.
He started his last 21 Premier League games where he scored three goals after missing the first three games of the season.
But it would have been a different story for the player had he been linked with the Toffees earlier that year.
Gabriel was on the cusp of a move to Goodison Park during the winter transfer window, with the former Dinamo Zagreb player on loan undergoing a medical for Merseyside.
However, he revealed that a conversation with Pepe helped persuade him to join the striker in north London instead.
Talking to Le Petit LiloysGabriel said: “Lil is a big club, a club that sells a lot so I had to show myself.
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“In the winter, before the tournament ended, he was already supposed to sign with Everton.
“I passed the medical exam and so on, but it didn’t.
“I had already planned to leave after this season.
“I spoke with Napoli and Everton again, then finally I chose Arsenal thanks to Nicolas Pepe who sold me the club so well.”
It looks like Gabriel is about to be named in Arteta’s starting lineup on Sunday when Arsenal face Watford away on Vicarage Road.
Arsenal, who sit sixth in the Premier League table, are seeking to win their fourth game in a row to keep their first four dreams alive.
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