Arsenal have completed the long-awaited signing of Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal in a deal which will see Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell move the opposite direction for the rest of the season.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger disclosed on Monday that the highly-rated Brazilian defender has been granted a work permit. He completed transfer formalities on Wednesday in a deal reportedly worth £15m.
“A while ago I had a really huge desire to play in the Premier League, so since that point I put it in my head that I really wanted to do it,” the 24-year-old centre-back, who can also play on the flanks, told the club’s official website. “I had a talk with my family and I told them that it was my dream to play in the Premier League. Getting here to such a big club is so gratifying.
“I am arriving at a big club and the fans can expect to find a Gabriel with a great will to help everyone. Not just thinking of me as an individual, because to me that is not important. I care more about helping the team and my team-mates. I want to help everyone, so the fans can expect a Gabriel that on the field has a lot of will to be able to help the team win important things.”
Paulista joined Villarreal in 2013 from Brazilian club Vitoria, where he made a total of 141 appearances in all competitions.
The move has seen Campbell join the ‘Yellow Submarines’ until the end of the season. The Gunners adds that Campbell penned a new long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium before jetting out “to gain more valuable first-team experience”.
Campbell joined Arsenal from Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa SAD, and is fresh into his fourth loan stint after playing for French Ligue 1 club FC Lorient, Spanish side Real Betis and Greek club Olympiakos.
The Costa Rican helped his country reach the quarter-finals of the Fifa World Cup last year. He has made three starts for the Premier League club this season as well as seven substitute appearances.