Gabriel Paulista has claimed that he was only ever regarded as a backup option by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Gabriel Paulista left Arsenal to sign for Valencia, making 64 appearances during his two-and-a-half years at the Emirates Stadium.
However, the centre-back has revealed his unhappiness at only being used when one of his teammates was unavailable, and the Brazilian says that he deserved more of a chance to impress in North London.
Paulista told Sky Sports News: “I deserved more of an opportunity. Sometimes I played because my team-mates were injured. I did play and sometimes even after playing well, I’d go home sad, given that I was only playing because my team-mate was injured. I don’t think I deserved that.
“I think I had the ability to play and to start games because I deserved to do so, or because I did well in training, but that didn’t happen. Sometimes I’d play three or four games and if Arsenal lost, I’d be dropped and everyone on the outside would say, “It’s Gabriel’s fault.
“That wasn’t good for me. People thought, ‘When that guy plays, Arsenal always lose.’ When [Hector] Bellerin got injured, I played at right-back and Arsenal started to lose.
“I think I played in four or five games en route to the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and I played brilliantly in that game. I played really well and I received plenty of praise. Then I think we faced Tottenham away and lost, I gave away a penalty in that game and lost my place in the team. I didn’t play again.”