When Arsenal interim boss Freddie Ljungberg was comfortable in saying publicly that Gabriel Martinelli’s energy levels convinced him to drop Alexandre Lacazette for the Gunners’ win against West Ham, it says everything about the bright young kid – Gabriel Martinelli. A sensation that is on the brink of premier league glory on the same lines as Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Tammy Abraham, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham…
So let’s take an inside look at the teenage prodigy…
The striker joined the Gunners from Brazilian club Ituano on a long-term contract over the summer of 2019 for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £6million.
How did Arsenal get hold of him – Thanks to European Union ?
The striker was born in Brazil and with him being so young, there is normally a lot of problems with obtaining a work permit. Players from outside of the European Union must have played at least 30 per cent of their internationals over the last two years, as Brazil are ranked third in the world. Martinelli had recently obtained an Italian passport, which meant he would not have to gain a work permit.
Why did he join Arsenal
Martinelli was subject to interest from no fewer than 25 clubs around the world who wished to sign him. Before his move to Arsenal, Martinelli had a trial at Manchester United while he also spent time at Barcelona’s La Masia academy earlier in the year. But the Spanish champions decided against signing Martinelli, which allowed Arsenal to move in and secure a deal for the striker. And according to Mundo Deportivo, Barca’s hierarchy were unhappy that they let Martinelli slip through the net, especially as he passed through their own academy just a few months before he opted to join the Gunners.
Gabriel Martinelli admitted that he was daunted by the prospect of arriving at Arsenal – having only previously seen his new teammates on TV or in video games.
What has he done so far to attract attention – Goals !!
The Brazilian had scored six goals in all competitions before tonight’s 3-1 win but he scored his first league goal when he grabbed an all-important equaliser after an hour played in east London. This was start of a quick three goal feast for Arsenal which helped in turning around their dismal performance over previous 10 matches where no wins were recorded.
Freddie Ljunberg said ” Martinelli did amazingly, he is like a Duracell battery, he keeps going. Laca (Alexandre Lacazette) is a tremendous player but I had to make a tough decision.The Brazilian’s ‘lack of fear’ was also a factor. ‘Gabby is a fantastic player. He’s very, very young but he has that energy about him so he goes and goes, ‘He has no fear, he just keeps going. It’s a pleasure to see him on the pitch and for him to have success today brings a smile to your face.”
His team mate David Luiz said “I’m not going to say to you about who is the most talented, but the best mentality at the moment is Martinelli. He has a great mentality, especially because I know Brazilians at 18 years old. He’s a top guy, a top player, but what makes me more impressed is the mentality in the training ground, the way he reacts after he scores goals.”