Gabriel Martinelli says he didn’t think twice about joining Arsenal, as he believes they’re one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Gabriel Martinelli joined Arsenal over the summer, leaving Ituano FC and his home country of Brazil. We all know the rest, with the 18-year-old scoring 10 goals, assisting four and winning two of Arsenal’s Player of the Month awards, all by the end of January.
Speaking to Spanish outlet Marca, Martinelli admitted he had a few offers for a transfer last summer. He didn’t spend any time thinking about his choice though, as Arsenal made him the best proposal.
“I played Copinha and very quickly the São Paulo championship,” Martinelli recalled. “I did well and had some offers. Arsenal was the one who made a firmer proposal with serious planning. I was offered the chance to train with the first team.
“We did not think twice. It was my dream and my parents’ dream that one day I could come to play in Europe. I didn’t think twice because Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in Europe.”
The Barcelona trial
Martinelli previously went on trial with Barcelona, which certainly wasn’t a secret before this interview. The forward explained exactly how it happened though, and why he didn’t end up joining.
“I spent 15 days there, which was the time I had on vacation from the U17s, which ended in October,” Martinelli explained. “As Copinha did not start until January, we would train in December. And November I had free.
“Barcelona invited me to train with them in La Masía but afterwards, they didn’t want to do anything with me. They didn’t tell me anything. I went back to Ituano, I played Copinha and then I came to Arsenal.”
A future move to Madrid?
Recently, the media linked Martinelli with a potential transfer to Real Madrid. The reports suggested Arsenal are trying to raise the youngster’s wages in order to keep him around, amid rumours of interest from Spain.
Martinelli says no one is in contact with him over a move though, and he’s focusing on the task at hand.
“Nothing has come to me. I am focused here doing my job at Arsenal and my head is here.”
That’s good to hear, and we’re all hoping for a successful end to the season for the teenager.