Arsenal starlet Gabriel Martinelli has spoken to DAZN Brasil this week, and talked about the path which led him to the Premier League side.
Long before joining the Gunners, Martinelli made a few visits to Manchester United, where he trained and even took a picture with Paul Pogba.
“There was a project between Ituano and Manchester United, and they always took a player. And I always came for these trips,” Gabriel Martinelli told DAZN.
“I could neither speak English nor French, but he said ‘tudo bem’ and took the picture with me nicely, he was super humble. Those training days were super important for me to adapt to the style of play, the players. How fast the game is here.”
When the offer from Arsenal arrived this summer, Martinelli says there’s no way he could have rejected it.
“I remember we played against Guarani, we won 2-1, and my agent called me. He said ‘you have to decide, so what?’. Then he said it was Arsenal. Then you think, one of the best clubs in Europe. I said yes, I couldn’t refuse.”
Asked about the offers he had this summer, the player said: “There were some approaches, but Arsenal came in strong, and I made the right choice to be here.”
Despite having played for Brazil’s youth squads, Martinelli is still to be called up for the first team, and that gives him the chance of playing for Italy, since he holds their nationality as well. And he says he hasn’t made a decision about it yet.
“I’m Brazilian, of course everyone wants to play with that yellow shirt, listen to their people singing. But I can play for Italy too, I have nothing decided. Of course I want to play for Brazil, but I haven’t defined it yet. It can be one or the other.”
Gabriel Martinelli has eight goals and three assists in 16 appearances for the Gunners so far. Quite impressive for a 18-year-old, and Arsenal are certainly glad he’s protected with a contract which runs until 2024.
Manchester United may regret not moving seriously for the player.