Arsenal manager Unai Emery said he already knew in pre-season that Gabriel Martinelli could prove to be a massive signing for the club. The Brazilian joined from Ituano for just £7m in July but has already scored four goals in just three appearances.
The Gunners boss revealed that he noticed the youngster’s desire and work ethic in training and he could see he deserved to be playing minutes for the first team straight away:
“I saw him in pre-season and he was working and in each training showing us his hunger. In pre-season, he was perfect all the time with us in training, and I spoke to him to be calm because when he arrived with an opportunity to play like tonight if he continues with this hunger then I think he will do well.”
“Tonight confirmed that. The first thing in his mind is to help us and receive some minutes with us in the team. Tonight I think his performance and attitude was amazing.”
After his double against Standard Liege last night, there will be calls for Martinelli to be introduced from the start in league matches.
With Alexandre Lacazette remaining on the sidelines until after the international break, there could be an opportunity for the forward to play in the front three against Bournemouth on Sunday.
Emery hasn’t been afraid to select young players this campaign, with the likes of Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson all having started games in the Premier League. Could Martinelli be the next in line?