Arsenal plot a return to South American market as Gabriel Martinelli makes claim fans will love

Arsenal have reportedly lined up another South American import to north London in hopes of a Gabriel Martinelli repeat this summer, as they plot a move for Peruvian right-back Jhilmar Lora.

The Gunners are keen to strengthen at right-back to provide cover and competition for Takehiro Tomiyasu, who has excelled since his deadline day move to the club from Bologna in the summer transfer window.

Current understudy Cedric Soares, however, will be 31 years old by the start of next season, and Mikel Arteta and co. are clearly searching for a replacement with links to Nottingham Forests Djed Spence also aplenty.

But, according to Football.London, Brexit regulations and difficulty getting work permits has meant that 'Arsenal are looking at the South American market for potential new signings'. Since many of those countries fall into higher brackets than their European second-tier counterparts, it should theoretically be easier to get a work permit for players like Martinelli to come to Europe this summer.

Lora, who currently plies his trade for Club Sporting Cristal in Argentina, has already made three appearances for the Peruvian national team, and looks to be an exciting prospect. Should he move to Arsenal and show even a shadow of the promise of Martinelli, Gunners fans will be happy.

Martinelli reaffirms Arsenal future

Meanwhile, Arsenal star forward Gabriel Martinelli himself has revealed that, should it be possible, he would like to spend the rest of his career with the Gunners.

The Brazilian forward has been the latest young star for Mikel Arteta's Champions League pushing side, with the 20 year old having contributed 4 goals and 2 assists in 16 Premier League appearances so far this campaign.

With Martinelli alongside Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe among the options for Arsenal's front line, the future of the north London club looks to be in relatively safe hands, but there is always the fear that a bigger team could come knocking for one of their stars.

It may not be Martinelli, however.

In an interview with ESPN Brazil, he revealed that he would be willing to stay at Arsenal for the remainder of his career, provided that they were competitive.

'Of course, Arsenal are a giant team. If I can, I’ll stay here my whole life', he told the media outlet. 'I want to conquer things, as I said, I want to stay here & win titles, with these wonderful fans, [with] my team-mates.'

'We have a young group, we have a lot of time ahead of us, players with a lot of quality, I think we will achieve great things. Our focus is the Champions League, fighting for that top four. A club like Arsenal has to be in the Champions League. It’s our total focus.'

Football fans will be no stranger to this sort of promise, and Arsenal will be hoping that this one is one of the few that is honoured.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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