Gabriel Martinelli has started the season in fine form and is now finally set to explode in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta.
The 21-year-old has started the new Premier League season just as hot as the English summer. Two goals in two games tell its own story, but his all-around game has impressed the most.
Signed as an 18-year-old for a fee of just £6m ($8m) from Ituano FC in 2019, the Brazilian has come on leaps and bounds during his three years at the club.
Gabriel Martinelli is finally coming of age at Arsenal
His first year in 2019/20 was his best to date, scoring ten goals and grabbing four assists. The following season injury struck, and he missed half of the campaign as a result – managing just 23 appearances in all competitions.
Last season, Martinelli started slowly but became a regular in Arteta’s squad as he often started or came on as a substitute.
To start 2022/23, though, it appears that the 21-year-old has gone to another level. Going from last season’s curtain closer at home to Everton, Martinelli has scored three goals in three league games and has been a constant menace in the attacking third.
Against Leicester, the Brazilian led Chelsea transfer target Wesley Fofana on a merry dance as he tormented the Foxes. Having completed 90 minutes in both games to start the new season, it seems that the winger is now one of Arteta’s favourites, and it is easy to see why.
His pace, energy, and commitment to chase and harass for every ball is sensational viewing, and many believe that the addition of Gabriel Jesus has helped elevate his game. If Martinelli keeps this up, he can be on Saka’s level in terms of talent and output.
It has taken a couple of seasons for the 21-year-old to really break through, but now, it looks as if the winger firmly believes in what he is capable of. Mikel Arteta, too, is a big fan of the relentless Brazilian. Speaking after the victory over Leicester on Saturday, the Spaniard said: “This boy [Martinelli] – the way he is developing so quickly is just incredible. It’s his hunger, his character & desire to be better every single day & the ambition that he has to play this game.”
Such has been Martinelli’s form, Emile Smith Rowe, a once locked-in starter, has been relegated to the bench, and it looks like the Englishman will only get minutes as a substitute for the time being.
His initial price tag of just £6m looks like an absolute steal. Much of the focus through pre-season has been on Jesus and William Saliba, but Gabriel Martinelli has been equally as impressive.
His all-around game is up there with the best of them at the time of writing. The next stage of his development is to become a consistent threat on the flank for Arsenal, and if he can, having Martinelli and Saka on either side of Jesus will strike fear into every team they face, if it doesn’t already.