Gabriel Magalhaes has revealed how David Luiz and Nicolas Pepe convinced him to join Arsenal.
It comes after the Brazilian was confirmed as the first signing of the summer at the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta had made strengthening his backline a priority after a leaky year at the back.
William Saliba is already set to make a difference this campaign after arriving from his loan at Saint-Etienne.
But the Arsenal coach wants to partner him up with a left-footed centre-back and has got his wish in the form of Gabriel.
A bid of around £27m was accepted from Lille and the Brazilian rejected moves from Napoli and Everton.
Gabriel has some close pals at Arsenal, including compatriot Luiz and former Lille team-mate Pepe, who both convinced him to move to the Gunners.
“For sure David is an example, he is a player I admire very much,” Gabriel told Arsenal Digital.
“I was always a big fan of him and everything he achieved.
“I watched him since I was a kid, I played video games with his character and today it is a dream come true to be here with him and hopefully play next to him soon.
“It is always good to have Brazilian players at the club to welcome me, it is very important for me.
"I don’t speak English very well and I will try to learn as fast as I can.
“Nicolas Pepe is also a good friend of mine, also David they messaged me and welcomed me, this is very important to me and makes me very happy.
"I cannot wait to meet the rest of the squad, Willian and Gabriel Martinelli too.”
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Upon confirmation of the signing, technical director Edu said: "We are delighted to have signed Gabriel.
"He is a player we have been studying for a while and he was in demand from many clubs, so we are proud to have agreed and completed this transfer with Lille and the player.
"Gabriel is a player of high quality and Mikel and his coaches are looking forward to integrating him into the club."