Gabriel Martinelli to miss Arsenal's pre-season

Gabriel Martinelli with Brazil (Photo via Martinelli on Twitter)
Gabriel Martinelli with Brazil (Photo via Martinelli on Twitter)

Gabriel Martinelli has received a call-up for the Tokyo Olympics, despite missing out on Brazil’s original squad for the event.

Gabriel Martinelli with Brazil (Photo via Martinelli on Twitter)
Gabriel Martinelli with Brazil (Photo via Martinelli on Twitter)

At the end of June, Football.London reported that Gabriel Martinelli was still in contention for a Brazil call-up this summer, despite initially missing out on the squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

That call has now come.

Martinelli was called up for the Brazil Olympic team’s training camp in June, playing against Serbia in a friendly on June 8th. But they needed to trim the squad for the actual tournament, and the Arsenal man was one of the players to miss out.

The latest twist is that Brazilian striker Pedro has not been given permission by his club Flamengo to join up with Brazil for the tournament.

Given the Olympics doesn’t take place during an official FIFA international window, clubs don’t have to let players go if they don’t want to.

With Pedro forced to miss out, the door was opened for Martinelli to take his place. Yuri Alberto of Internacional and Evanilson of FC Porto were the other alternatives for Pedro’s spot, with a deadline of June 30th for a decision.

Obviously, a call-up is mixed news for Arsenal fans. It’s always great to see a player’s efforts recognised by their country, but it means Martinelli will miss the entirety of pre-season.

Gabriel Magalhaes has already been called up for the Olympics.

Brazil’s first game is on July 22nd and the final takes place on August 7th, just six days before Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Brentford.