Arsene Wenger: Gabriel Paulista ready to make Arsenal debut against Villa
Gabriel is yet to make his Premier League debut with Arsenal. Getty

Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista claims he wants to emulate his compatriot Gilberto Silva during his spell at the Emirates Stadium.

Silva moved to the north London club from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro in summer 2002 for a fee of £4.5m after catching manager Arsene Wenger's attention during his impressive World Cup campaign.

The Brazilian holding midfielder quickly became a favourite for the French boss and played a crucial role in the "Invincibles" side that secured the 2003/04 Premier League title without a single defeat.

Paulista hopes to follow in Silva's footsteps at the north London club after joining from Villarreal in January after Arsenal agreed to pay around £13m to secure his services – while letting Joel Campbell to move to the La Liga side on loan as part of the deal.

"I remember Gilberto Silva because he was always with the Brazilian national team," Gabriel said to Arsenal Player.

"He was a mirror for every Brazilian player and every child, who looked up to Gilberto Silva as a reference. He was an influence for many players, not only Brazilians but players around the world.

"I could see that he was a major element here, he really helped the team, he really is a player I want to emulate because of his type of work and his will to help his team-mates, his will to win as a true Brazilian."

The new Arsenal signing is confident on proving his worth on the pitch but also wants to become an important part of the dressing room, like Silva was.

Paulista said: "To me he's a mirror, so I will always take many good things I saw in him and take it to the pitch, and off the pitch as well, because I think he was an excellent professional who did many good things.

"I want to be like him, to be able to do the most I can to help everyone."