Arsenal wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli has outlined how his recent top form has not gone to his head by revealing how starstruck he was when meeting the ‘football stars’ during his first weeks at the club.
The Brazilian teenager is still having to pinch himself on a daily basis, despite impressing Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and standing on the brink of a regular first team starting berth.
After arriving at the Emirates in July 2019 and signing on the dotted line for his new club, Martinelli couldn’t help but simply become a football fan and stand in awe at his new Premier League surroundings.
Gabriel Martinelli admits he was left pinching himself when he finally signed for Arsenal
The teenager signed in July 2019 and has described his feelings as arriving in ‘heaven’
Despite being little known upon his arrival, Martinelli is quickly making a name for himself
‘The first day I arrived it was very interesting,’ Martinelli told Estadao.
‘I took the photos at the club and went to lunch, it was a very big table. They came to talk to me and I didn’t even know how to answer.’
‘Then I changed and went to the gym. All the players were there and I thought, “My God in heaven, it is a dream to be here with football stars”.
‘These are things that inspire me. It’s a dream come true.’
Martinelli looks to have impressed Mikel Arteta and is forcing his way into first team plans
Martinelli capped off a stellar performance at Bournemouth on Monday with an audacious flick
Martinelli recently got tongues wagging with a sublime performance against Bournemouth in the FA Cup, as Arsenal controlled the tie and booked their place in the fifth round of the competition.
Premier League legend Rio Ferdinand was left with his mouth agape and praised the nonchalance of Martinelli as the 18-year-old pulled off an audacious lofted pass with the outside of his foot.
While Martinelli is progressing in leaps and bounds on the football pitch, he admits that getting a grasp on the English language is still proving rather tricky.
‘I’m learning,’ added the youngster. ‘In order to speak with teammates, most of them can speak Spanish and I can learn some English.
Martin Keown and Rio Ferdinand could not heap enough praise on the Brazilian starlet
‘But, to give interviews, it is more difficult. I study inside the club, they provide classes. I always try to do it when I’m not traveling because of the games.
‘It is undoubtedly one of the most difficult parts because I had never done any English until I got here.’
Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday when they travel up to the north west to face Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
Martinelli is tipped to be handed another start by Arteta and rewarded for his exploits at the Vitality Stadium, along with fellow youngster Bukayo Saka.