Rio Ferdinand says he “can’t get his head around” Arsenal’s habit of signing centre-backs who “capitulate” soon after they arrive at the Emirates.
Gabriel is the latest Gunners defender in the spotlight after he endured a torrid evening up against Mohamed Salah in the 3-0 home defeat by Liverpool on Saturday.
The Brazilian joined from Lille for £27million last summer and showed signs of promise early on, but recent performances have been far less convincing.
Ferdinand believes Gabriel is the latest in a long line of centre-backs Arsenal have signed who have failed to find consistency or live up to expectations in north London.
The former England stalwart told Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel: “Just going back to Gabriel, when’s the last time Arsenal signed a centre back who they can rely on completely?
“He [Laurent Koscielny] was one, before that probably Sol [Campbell]? Kolo [Toure]? It’s unbelievable, they’ve gone from having absolute rocks at the back to they can’t sign a good centre half for me.
Do you agree with Ferdinand’s damning assessment of Gabriel and Arsenal’s centre-back purchases? Have your say in the comments.
“They’ve signed so many, Gabriel, there’s so many that come through who have the odd good game and then it just capitulates.
“I watched Gabriel on the first day of the season against Fulham and I thought he looks alright, he looks quite quick, aggressive, got a nice left foot, but then just folds, it doesn’t make sense.”
Ferdinand admits he is at a loss trying to explain Gabriel’s marked decline but pointed at a possible lack of protection in Mikel Arteta’s system.
He added: “I can’t get my head around it. Is it the team that there’s just no protection or what? The defenders just look open and exposed and unable to deal with situations.
“I know you’re playing against Mo Salah who’s one of the best in the world right but they don’t make it easy for themselves they don’t make it look pretty.”
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