Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has kicked off his recruitment drive this summer by snapping up highly-rated Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli — and supporters hope his arrival will be the first of many new acquisitions at the north London outfit.
Emery needs to bolster his squad ahead of the new campaign to reignite the fire at the Emirates Stadium following a flat conclusion to the end of the season last time of asking when the Gunners missed out on Champions League football and lost the Europa League final 4-1 to Chelsea.
Forward Martinelli, now aged 18, is joining the Reds on a long-term contract from Sao Paulo-based club Ituano Futebol Clube, for whom he made his debut in 2017 when he was just 16. Since then the striker bagged 10 goals from his 34 appearances before his switch to Arsenal.
Martinelli — who did enough during the domestic campaign to warrant a call-up by the Brazilian national team to a training camp before the Copa America — says he is excited, honoured and thrilled to join the Gunners.
When quizzed on what type of player he is, and who he models himself on, he told the club’s official website:
“I am a player who gives his all at all times, I play as a team and always looking to win games and win trophies. I model my game on Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a player who works hard, pushing himself to the next level. Always in the run for titles and individual trophies. I look up to Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar as they are players who can decide games and are very professional, who dedicate themselves to the whole game.”
Meanwhile the future of another Arsenal target, Yannick Carrasco, still hangs in the balance. The Belgian attacker played and scored for his Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang last time of asking but he isn’t keen on hanging around and, likewise, the powerbrokers at the club — who have just hired former Newcastle, Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez – have conceded that he should make the move back to Europe.
At a transfer fee of around £35million, the forward fits the bill in terms of the budget at the disposal of Emery, but the whole deal hangs on whether or not the Gunners can land Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha. The Selhurst Park outfit are said to be holding out for a fee of around £80million but the Gunners don’t want to surpass the £60million mark.
Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney looks as if he will be playing in the famous red and white shirts next season with both clubs said to be close to a deal in the region of £20million.