While it has been quiet transfer window for Arsenal, there were definitely reasons to be optimistic about the couple of transfers the Gunners have made.

Both Gabriel and Willian made their debuts on the opening day victory against Fulham at Craven Cottage and both played key parts in the victory.

Brazilian influence

The two Brazilians joined in the summer joining fellow countrymen David Luiz and Gabriel Martinelli. As well as this, Arsenal’s technical director is former player and Brazilian international Edu Gaspar - a strong samba influence at the Emirates.   

Willian was brought in on a free from Chelsea just like David Luiz had the season before. Willian revealed that Luiz played a key part in him joining the club. When he joined the club Willian revealed Luiz had told him: "Come to Arsenal, come to Arsenal, I want you to come!"

Willian spoke about his friendship with the centre half saying: “He is a very nice guy, a top player and I’m very excited to play with him again. He is this kind of person that wants to help, especially young players without experience. He is the guy that helps everyone.”

Willian hits a free-kick against Fulham during the Premier League match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)


Story of the match

It is obvious to see that Willian has settled in very quickly at Arsenal with an impressive performance against Fulham.

After playing a part in the first goal scored by Alexandre Lacazette, Willian came close to a debut goal hitting the post from a fiercely hit freekick.

Willian contributed to a very fluent second half performance for Arsenal assisting two goals. The first goal came from a brilliant corner met by Gabriel further emphasising the Brazilian connection.

The second a flowing counter attack from Arsenal with Willian spraying an inch perfect pass across to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who finished fantastically.

Willian was replaced after 74 minutes and received a warm reception from Mikel Arteta, clearly happy with his new signing’s work.

Willian shakes hands with Mikel Arteta after coming off as a substitute (Photo by PAUL CHILDS via Getty Images)

Defensive nouse 

And while Willian was a good signing, the transfer of Gabriel was what had most Arsenal fans excited ahead of the season.

Signed from Lille for 27 million, the centre back impressed in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League last season which made him one of the most in demand defenders in world football.

With interest from Napoli and Manchester United it was a great bit of business from Arsenal to sign him and demonstrates how attractive the prospect of playing under Mikel Arteta is.

With a number of injuries at centre back, Gabriel was thrown into the starting line up straight away.

While Fulham are one of the weaker sides in the league it still looked a test for Gabriel playing in his first Premier League game, especially with the Brazilian not playing a game since March.

An early lack of communication between himself and Bernd Leno showed the lack of match sharpness, however after this early mistake Gabriel looked very assured at the back.

He showed good pace and strength when defending and looked dominant in the air, winning plenty of headers in the first half. That dominance was emphasised further when he towered above his marker from a Willian corner to head home Arsenal’s second goal, giving them a cushion over Fulham.

Even when the big physical Aleksandar Mitrovic came on in the second half, Gabriel remained assured and won Man of the Match to make it a near perfect start to his Arsenal career.

The Arsenal players celebrate with Gabriel after he scored a goal on his debut. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

And if you need further proof that there’s a strong Brazilian influence now at Arsenal, look no further than Bolton born Rob Holding doing kick ups just outside the Fulham penalty area leading to Arsenal’s second goal.

It was a run that left his teammates laughing and Rob a little surprised with himself.