Gabriel Martinelli spoke to Lance in Brazil about his short time at Arsenal and it seems the teenager is loving life after also revealing he was on trial with Manchester United a number of times.
Gabriel Martinelli hasn’t seen much Premier League action so far this season but we have all loved watching him in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League where he has four goals and an assist in just two games.
Behind the scenes, the the 18-year-old has been acclimatising to his rapid rise with Arsenal making clear their plan for integrating him into the first team sooner rather than later.
“Because it is my first season, I want to show my potential to build on the main cast of the club. I know the team is packed with great players, but I know what I can do and my goal is to help the team. I think we can achieve great things in the season, winning titles and marking our name in Arsenal history,” he said.
“I was received in the best way possible. Being very young, I got a little shy, because I only saw these players on television, on video games. But they welcomed me very well, making me feel at home and I try to learn from them on a daily basis,” he added.
“The coach is a great person, and I’m learning a lot from him on a daily basis. I try to do my best in training so that, when I have the opportunity, to grasp with all my might.
“Edu is an exceptional guy, a great professional, victorious and who made history with the Arsenal shirt. We talked a lot when I arrived and, undoubtedly, having a person like him around motivates us more and more.
When asked about the differences between being in Brazil compared to England, he said, “I think things are a little bit ahead [here], like the structure of the clubs, the way of playing, the presence of the fans in the stadiums … The way football is run here is different, with a lot of organization. Brazil has its way of playing soccer, something more cheerful, bolder, and here the tactical issue is more present.”
“The adaptation is being the best possible. We had a very strong preseason where I was able to play a good role and show some of my work. We arrive in a new place, with a different culture, another style of play, and only the time, the day to day work to make the work develop in the best way possible – finished.”
What little we’ve seen of Martinelli has looked fantastic and I can’t wait to see more. What makes it even sweeter is the fact that Manchester United had him on trial at least four times and still rejected the chance to sign him.
“Between 2015 and 2017 I went there [to Manchester United] four times and trained for about 15 days,” Martinelli said after the win over Forest.
“I asked to take a picture with [Patrice] Evra, [Marouane] Fellaini and other guys. [Paul] Pogba knew I was Brazilian and asked if everything was okay with me and where I was playing.”
Speaking to the Arsenal site after signing, Martinelli said, “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.”
He certainly seems to be doing hat with both feet.
This article was first published on 5 September 2019 and has been updated to reflect his scoring antics lately.