Wonder kid Martinelli happy at Arsenal as Real Madrid eye his progress

Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli refuses to have his head turned by the rumours circulating that Spanish giants Real Madrid are keen to snare him from Arsenal — for now. Samba teen Martinelli has been a revelation since he burst on to the scene with the Gunners — and his fine individual goal in a 2-2 draw with Premier league rivals Chelsea helped him to enter the football public’s consciousness (he raced the length of the Stamford Bridge pitch to score after N’Golo Kanté slipped).

Now reports doing the rounds in mainstream media outlets suggest the hierarchy of the Bernabeu powerhouse are monitoring the Brazilian wonder kid’s position with the Gunners where, already, some fans are suggesting that he hasn’t been handed as many first-team starts as perhaps he should under head coach Mikel Arteta. But to be fair, Martinelli has some decent players to get past when it comes to Arteta’s team selection after all — with attackers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Lacazette, Nic Pepe, Eddie Nketiah and, to a lesser degree, Mesut Ozil all seemingly in front of him.

But the 18-year-old, who hit 10 goals in all competitions with three strikes in the top-flight, is perfectly happy with his progress and development at the Emirates Stadium and has spoken of his ambition in terms of trying to snare silverware for the Gunners. He has penned a deal with the Gunners until 2024 and has hinted at staying even longer. But the lure of Madrid can be strong and there can be no doubt that over his formative years with Arsenal he may well have a change of heart. But let’s hope not, right?

It’s all going swimmingly for Martinelli at present in north London as much as it can do given that football is in lockdown thanks to the deadly Covid-19 outbreak.

Speaking to football magazine FourFourTwo, Martinelli says he would love to win the Champions League and plenty of domestic titles to make Arsenal fans happy. He added:

“They deserve the best; not only the supporters but all of the club’s staff. I’d like to give back to the club after everything they’ve done for me so far and become a Gunners legend.”

The capture from Brazilian league side Ituano last summer says that he feels that he has flourished under the tutelage of Arteta after he came in to replace axed coach Unai Emery at the end of last year. He added:

“He’s been brilliant. He pays a lot of attention to moves and keeps pushing me to improve my game – not only in attack but defence, too. The boss is very wise tactically and incredibly helpful. He’s not an angry guy at all, but likes showing you exactly what to do on the pitch. He has a keen eye for detail.”