Gabriel Paulista
Gabriel Paulista is on the brink of joining Arsenal from VillarrealGetty Images

Arsenal have been warned against signing Villarreal centre-back Gabriel Paulista, who is set to become the club's second signing of the January transfer window before the end of the week.

Manager Arsene Wenger stated after the 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the fourth round of the FA Cup that the £15m deal could be completed to sign Paulista, 24, on Monday 26 January ahead of attempting to secure a work permit for the Brazilian defender.

Though Wenger is optimistic Paulista will adapt to the rigours of the Premier League and settle at Arsenal, former striker Charlie Nicholas says the club's supporters must scale back their expectations.

"He's not a natural passing centre-back," he said. "He's a physical presence. Wenger doesn't buy superstars really. I know he bought Sanchez and Ozil - but defensively he likes to create superstars.

"He's not been too successful at it in the last few years, but he could groom this lad and he could eventually become the right player for Arsenal, but he needs time."

Injury to Mathieu Debuchy has swelled the need for Arsenal to add to their resources, with just six senior defenders having been available to Wenger this season, during which the club have struggled at the back.

Despite being part of a Villarreal back-four that has the third-best defensive record in La Liga, Paulista is a somewhat unknown quantity to fans on British shores. However, former Spain international Marcelino is confident he will do well at Arsenal even if he does not represent world-class quality.

"His strengthens are that he is a very quick defender and he is very aggressive in the air as well, his weaknesses are on the ball," Marcelino told Sky Sports. "I don't see him as the type of player who is gifted in playing the ball from the back that Arsenal like to do.

"I can see him fitting into the Arsenal system but my question marks are whether he is a top defender in the world or in Europe and I don't think he is at that level. We will have to see how much they pay for him or what sort of needs they have at the moment.

"Depending on how much you need that player sometimes when you are in need that player you pay over the odds and you are forced to pay for the player that is available. If Villarreal are putting that price and you want that player you have to put the money down."