Arsenal sign ‘naturally gifted, world class’ ace – classic transfer

first_img1 Gilberto Silva scores in his first Arsenal game, the winner against Liverpool in the 2002 Charity Shield Gilberto Silva arrived at Arsenal as a winner.Having been a part of Brazil’s victorious 2002 World Cup campaign, he joined the champions of England from Atletico Mineiro in a £4.5m deal and made an instant impact.Coming off the bench at half-time, he scored the only goal of the game as the Gunners beat Liverpool 1-0 in the 2002 Charity Shield.“He is a naturally gifted, world class player who has proved, by his performances in Japan during the summer, that he is a winner,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said at the time of the signing.“He will give us extra quality and his competitiveness in midfield will provide us with a good balance and added strength,” he added.This was true and Silva quickly became a favourite among the Arsenal faithful who named him the ‘Invisible Wall’ for his performances in front of the back four where he provided the protection.At the end of his first season, he added another trophy to his impressive haul, as the Gunners beat Southampton to win consecutive FA Cups and by the end of the following 2003/04 campaign, he was an ‘Invincible’, with the Arsenal team going a whole Premier League season unbeaten.Another FA Cup victory followed in 2005 and then a year later, Silva scored the first ever competitive goal at the Emirates in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.However, his time in London ended in 2008, with the emergence of Mathieu Flamini and the 31-year-old was sold to Greek side Panathinaikos, after playing 244 games and scoring 24 goals.Some Gooners are still keen for the club to bring in a Silva clone and the Brazilian’s impact at Arsenal has been lasting, with defender and compatriot Gabriel Paulista claiming he would like to emulate Silva at at the club.last_img

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