Ronaldinho has today opened up on the level of excitement stemming from Brazil regarding the potential of Arsenal youngster Gabriel Martinelli.
18-year-old attacker Martinelli made the move to the Emirates last summer, from his home country of Brazil.
With Arsenal having also secured the high-profile additions of the likes of Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Pepe, though, Martinelli’s arrival slipped somewhat under the radar.
Our summer 2019 recruits 😎
✏️ Describe this transfer window using just ONE word: _____ pic.twitter.com/mqBsLb1Z6L
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 9, 2019
The first-half of the campaign, however, has arguably seen the South American prodigy stand out as the most consistent of the Gunners’ latest batch of signings.
Despite his tender years, Martinelli already looks a genuine star in the making.
The youngster possess all of the desirable traits of a modern attacker, combining touch, stature, poise, pace, the ability to beat opposing defenders and, perhaps most-significantly of all, a real eye for goal.
This has allowed Martinelli to directly contribute to a remarkable 10 goals across 7 appearances between the League Cup and Europa League to this point in the season.
In addition, he has recently carried his goalscoring exploits onto the Premier League stage, with crucial strikes versus both Sheffield United and Chelsea.
Catch him if you can 🏃♂️
Anyone else still watching Gabi’s goal? 🤩 pic.twitter.com/K1P3toMJ4o
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 22, 2020
‘Similar attitude in Martinelli’
As such, there is understandably widespread excitement amongst Arsenal’s fans, regarding the potential of their latest young prospect.
As outlined above, though, Martinelli’s rise to stardom has also seen those in his home country of Brazil begin to stand up and take notice.
Incredibly, the teenage talent has today been compared to one of the Selecao’s greatest ever attackers, by another of the country’s all-time greats.
Speaking in an interview with the Mirror, former Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldinho revealed his opinion that Martinelli’s exemplary attitude and confidence are what set him apart from so many other gifted young players.
These traits even saw Ronaldinho go as far as to compare Martinelli to Brazilian goalscoring legend Ronaldo:
‘We as Brazilians are very excited about him and his future. It is one thing to have the talent – but another at the age of 18 to have the confidence.’
‘He reminds me of Ronaldo his first season in Europe he scored 30 goals and people were thinking: ‘who is this 18 year old Brazilian kid?’’
‘He wanted the ball, he would run at players, there was no fear no matter what players or team he was playing against – and I see that similar attitude in Martinelli.’
‘He just wants to be on the ball and score goals. Ronaldo went on to be the best player in the world – and that can also be the aim of Martinelli.’