David Luiz thinks his fellow Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli has the best mentality of Arsenal’s young prospects, claiming that’s as important as talent to go far as a player.
Martinelli has made a fantastic start to life at Arsenal, scoring seven goals in nine appearances and just five starts. The 18-year-old also has an assist and is currently the club’s second-top scorer in all competitions.
Though he’s yet to get off the mark in the Premier League, Martinelli has performed well in the Europa League and against Liverpool at Anfield, and he’s drawing praise from all over the place at the moment.
Unsurprisingly, David Luiz also has positive things to say about his fellow Brazilian, claiming Martinelli has the talent and mentality to succeed.
“I always say, talents, I have seen many, but great mentality, I didn’t see many,” Luiz said. “And who arrives far? It’s great mentality, not just talent.
“I’m not going to say to you about who is the most talented [at Arsenal], but the best mentality at the moment is Martinelli. He has a great mentality, especially because I know Brazilians at 18 years old.
“He’s a top guy, a top player, but what makes me more impressed is the mentality in the training ground, the way he reacts after he scores goals.
“[After] scoring at Anfield, he continues to work, not asking already, ‘I have to play, I have to play’. This is a great mentality. He’s taking his opportunities step-by-step, always with the same focus and determination. He is so mature for his age.”
Martinelli probably will need to be patient at Arsenal, with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in front of him. He’s not going to become a starter in the Premier League just yet with the quality and experience of those he’s competing against.
There should still be plenty of chances for the teenager to play in the Europa League and the FA Cup before the end of the season though, as well as coming off the bench in Premier League matches. If he keeps the right mentality in and around those games he’ll continue to put himself on the map.