Denilson credits Arsenal breakthrough to Gilberto Silva

Denilson feels he is now establishing himself at Arsenal. Signed by Sao Paulo at the age of 14, he captained Brazil from Under-15 to Under-19 level but really came to prominence at the 2005 World Under-17 Championships in Peru. He joked: “When you are captain of Brazil you are not exactly a secret! “There were a number of interested teams but Arsenal were one of the first to approach me and I decided to sign for them.

Denilson feels he is now establishing himself at Arsenal.

Signed by Sao Paulo at the age of 14, he captained Brazil from Under-15 to Under-19 level but really came to prominence at the 2005 World Under-17 Championships in Peru.

He joked: “When you are captain of Brazil you are not exactly a secret!

“There were a number of interested teams but Arsenal were one of the first to approach me and I decided to sign for them.

“The main reason was because of the manager, Mr Wenger, because of his policy to work with young players, develop them and turn them into really good professionals.

"It was not easy for me at first. I came to England at 18 and really struggled to settle in. I was living alone, knew no one, could not speak the language and the weather was so cold.

“Everything was so different to back home in Brazil. I owed so much to Gilberto Silva. He was amazing.

“Even though he is older than me, he was always there for me with good advice and friendship.”

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