Name: Gabriel Martinelli
Date of Birth: 18 June 2001
Gabriel Martinelli – his career so far
Gabriel Martinelli is a fairly fresh Gooner, having only joined Arsenal on a long-term contract back in July 2019 from the Brazilian side Ituano Futebal Clube. The 18-year-old has been somewhat of a sensation back in his home country and it really didn’t take long for his talents to spring up in the English top-flight as well.
But the difference between him and most of the young, up and coming prodigies in the Premier League is that he slotted straight into their first-team without having to experience life in the youth ranks first.
Of course, he had to claw through Ituano’s academy and into their first team before actually catching the attention of some of the big European clubs and there’s also an interesting fact about the youngster – he had a chance to audition for none other than Barcelona with their youth clubs but having spent some time with the Catalans, the Blaugranas decided he was simply not worth their time and they rejected the chance to sign him.
In retrospect, this would prove to be a mistake as Martinelli was then soon scooped up by Arsenal and labelled a sensation; an exceptional talent shooting for the stars. Back in Brazil, he managed to score ten goals in 34 appearances for the Sao Paulo-based club, definitely impressing during his stay.
But life at Arsenal has also been quite good so far – the now 18-year-old centre-forward made his debut with the Gunners when he came on in the 84th minute of a 1-0 win against Newcastle United on the opening day of the 2019/20 campaign. His first goals soon followed suit as the Brazilian got his first start against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup on September 24, 2019 and even more impressively – scored twice to seal the victory for Arsenal.
He didn’t stop there, however, as his second start – this time in the Europa League against Standard Liege on October 3 – brought his second brace for the club as well, already solidifying his place in the squad.
Since then, he’s made 26 appearances for the Gunners, scoring ten goals and assisting further four under his name.
With Martinelli’s sudden and explosive emergence at Arsenal, it doesn’t really come as a surprise that there were plenty of transfer rumours surrounding the young lad consistently. But despite interest from the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona, the Gooners got the best possible Arsenal news when the 18-year-old himself admitted he wants to win trophies and succeed at the Emirates.
Another transfer news connected with Martinelli is his big decision on which national team he wants to represent in the near future. Of course, both Italy and Brazil have reportedly been in a tug of war for the youngster but he has since hinted that the Selecao is his priority.
At the moment, there don’t seem to be any Arsenal news that should be of concern to the fans as the young lad seems determined to succeed at the Emirates.
Even though Martinelli is a centre-forward by trade, he’s actually been used out wide on the left flank quite often during his time at Arsenal. According to Transfermarkt, he only spent eight games out of 26 at his preferred role while he was deployed out wide on the left on further 14 occasions. The other two times he was a right-winger.
But regardless of the position he’s deployed in, Martinelli can boast with a great sense of positioning, awareness of his surroundings and fantastic off-the-ball movement that often enables him to be at the right place at the right time.
He averaged 4.68 dribbles per 90 minutes in 2019/20 with 51% of them being successful and 2.48 shots per game with 47.2% of them hitting the target.
It’s also important to note that he is a very willing runner, often working hard to both attack and defend, which is a trait not many forwards have nowadays. If these early signs are any indication at all, Martinelli could go on to become a huge star of the future.
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