Arsenal technical director Edu says he wasn’t the first person to discover Gabriel Martinelli’s talent but he acknowledges that the Brazilian has proven to be a massive success after signing him from Ituano last summer.
Very little was known about the teenager when he was snapped up by the Gunners for £6m but Edu claims clubs had been tracking him from a young age. He told ESPN Brasil:
“I don’t think that the first one who saw Martinelli was Edu. Other people saw him before [me], after these first people [from the club] there is another process, go to a scout, then come to me, you do an analysis, talk to the coach and the entire finance department.
“So the hiring process is very long, the club got it right in the hiring process. It is not fair to point at just one person. Another thing: Martinelli’s dossier is absurd. There were scouts on him since the Under 13s.”
Martinelli has certainly shown what he can do since his arrival in England. The 18-year-old has scored 10 goals and provided four assists in 26 appearances this season.
The forward has certainly performed way above expectations, with it being clear from a very early stage that the club had unearthed a gem.
After impressing on the preseason tour of the United States, then manager Unai Emery had no hesitation about giving him his competitive debut against Newcastle on the opening day.
Since then, he has gone from strength to strength with many tipping him to have a great future in the game.