Gabriel Martinelli has all the attributes to be a world-class player in the future, according to Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Bernd Leno appeared on Soccer AM this weekend, and he spoke about his new teammate Gabriel Martinelli.
The two are probably up there with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka as Arsenal’s players of the season so far, and Leno has a lot of praise for the Brazilian teenager.
“I think he can become a world-class player,” Leno told Soccer AM.
“World-class, 100 per cent, because he has talent, he has quality but I think his biggest strength is his mentality. He is working unbelievably [hard]. I remember in our bad time when we struggled a lot, he was working so hard.
“He was one of the leaders! At 18 years old, he came from nowhere, nobody knew him before and to play like this, and to behave like this, it’s very good to see.
“I think if he keeps doing like this, he will be an unbelievable player.”
Martinelli scored 10 goals and four assists in his first season with Arsenal so far. With 11-13 games left to go, the 18-year-old could easily hit 20 goal contributions before the end of his debut campaign in England.
It’s hard to remember many young signings having that kind of impact at Arsenal immediately. Occasionally a player will make an impressive jump up from the youth teams, like Saka this season, but coming from Brazil to do it is another matter.
That’s a testament to the way Martinelli is applying himself in England. He’s working hard, he’s taking his chances and he’s giving Arsenal fans something to get excited about.