Gabriel Martinelli: Arsenal Announce Signing of Youngster (with video)
Arsenal have signed forward Gabriel Martinelli from Brazilian club Ituano FC. He will join the Gunners on a long-term contract.
Arsenal Complete Signing of Gabriel Martinelli
Gabriel Martinelli: Career So Far
Martinelli is very much a new kid on the Brazilian block. Having come through the youth ranks with Corinthians’ futsal team, he joined Ituano in 2015, making his senior debut in 2018. He was the youngest player to debut for the side in the century, at just 16 years and nine months.
The attacker played football with Ituano in the lower reaches of Brazilian football, only progressing to the country’s fourth tier, Série D this year. He leaves Ituano having made 34 senior appearances, scoring 10 goals.
He was Ituano’s top scorer in the 2019 Campeonato Paulista, scoring six goals as his side reached the quarter-finals. As a reward for his fine form, he won the competition’s ‘best newcomer’ award, as well as a place in the team of the year.
What This Means For The Future
Martinelli will become the latest to follow the footsteps of Brazilian team-mates Neymar and Gabriel Jesus by moving from Brazil to Europe at a young age. However, it could have happened even earlier; the Brazilian wonder-kid has previously had trials with Barcelona and Manchester United. However, both sides passed up on the talent.
This 18-year-old could be the answer to Arsenal‘s quest for a winger. Having pursued Ryan Fraser and Yannick Carrasco, Martinelli represents a more affordable, long-term solution. Though, whether or not he will be thrown straight into the first team is unclear. A work permit will not be an issue for him since he is eligible for an Italian passport.
Described as a quick and skilful player, Martinelli is a winger with an eye for goal. He is also capable of playing as a second striker. But there is not only interest in him at club level; Brazil manager Tite called him up to prepare for the Copa América this summer. This alone should be a marker of how far the highly-rated talent could go for Arsenal.