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.”
Martinelli adds that what excites him most about this opportunity at Arsenal is fulfilling his dream to play for one of the European giants, adding:
“It is a dream since I was a child and also my family’s dream for me to be playing in Europe and playing for a big team like Arsenal. I am going to take this opportunity.
“Pulling on that Arsenal shirt for the first time was a very big moment, I am very grateful for everything, I am grateful to God and I will try to make the most out of it.”
Martinelli has revealed that the Samba kings who went before him have paved the way for him to move the Emirates Stadium. He added that he knows a little of the history of the Brazilian players who have played for Arsenal.
“I know a few. I know Edu, Denilson and I know that they have a lot of history at the club. Edu, in particular, I had a little contact with him at Corinthians as I had a spell there and I know they had a lot of success here but also for the national team. I am going to try to follow the same route.”