Arsenal have reportedly enquired about the availability of Ituano striker Gabriel Martinelli, who has had trials previously at Manchester United and Barcelona.
The Daily Mail have reported of Arsenal’s interest in Gabriel Martinelli. The young Brazilian is currently impressing while plying his trade for fourth division side Ituano. Martinelli has previously had trials with reputed European clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona.
The report also adds that the 17-year-old has been watched by Premier League duo Watford and Crystal Palace in recent months, and the interest appears to be increasing in the striker.
Gabriel Teodoro Martinelli Silva is a 17-year-old who plies his trade as a natural centre-forward. Interestingly, Martinelli started his career as futsal player for Corinthians during his nascent years. He then moved on to football and joined Ituano’s ranks in 2015.
After joining Ituano, Martinelli had trails with Manchester United and Barcelona. The youngster did not manage to do enough to earn a contract at either of the top clubs but does have an Italian passport, thus making it easier for him to earn a move to Europe, should any team come knocking at his and Ituano’s door.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 3, 2019
Despite being a natural centre-forward, Martinelli refers to himself as an all-round attacker and likes the way Cristiano Ronaldo plays his football. The youngster does not have an affinity towards playing with his back towards the goal, but says he has that in the locker as well in a report published by Brazilian publication Globo Esporte.
Martinelli said, “I play as an attacker, but not necessarily a forwarder. When I do this function, acting inside, I consider myself more of the modern style, with speed and a lot of movement without having the ball in the foot. I really like Cristiano Ronaldo, because I also do not like to play with his back to the marker holding the ball, as in the old fashion. But if I have to, I also know how to act like that.”
Arsenal have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in their ranks. Despite two deadly strikers and an array of young guns aiming to step up and make themselves known, the Gunners are always on the lookout for prodigal talents to add to their squad and Martinelli is just that, a prodigal talent.
A centre-forward with natural goalscoring instincts is hard to find in today’s world; that too for cheap. It will be interesting to see where Martinelli, who has opted to stay with Ituano despite offers from other Brazilian clubs, ends up. The goal is, obviously, Europe.