Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney has said that he was surprised by the intensity shown by Gabriel Martinelli during his first training session with the north London club.
The Scotland international was one of the club’s new signings alongside Martinelli last summer but his debut was delayed until late September as he was recovering after a double hernia operation.
Tierney has got the opportunity to train with a number of elite players at the Emirates including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil but replying to a recent Reddit AMA question, the Scot revealed that he was motivated to work harder after noting the workrate of Martinelli.
“Gabriel Martinelli. When I first did a full training session with the team I was put up against him and the intensity of his play was honestly mind-blowing and I thought to myself, this is the standard I need to be at to play for Arsenal,” he said.
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Martinelli was a relatively unknown talent when he made the move to the Gunners from fourth-tier Brazilian side Ituano last summer and it was initially predicted that he could link up with the development side.
However, the 18-year-old managed to make a huge impression through the pre-season tour of the United States and he has since been a regular figure in the senior squad.
The teenager has contributed 10 goals and four assists from 26 games in all competitions but nearly half of his appearances have come from the substitutes’ bench.
Meanwhile, Tierney has endured a frustrating debut campaign with the Capital outfit and he has been restricted to just 11 appearances in all competitions due to injury setbacks.
The former Celtic man has made no appearances for the club since the turn of the year after dislocating his shoulder. He should, however, return to first-team contention when the season resumes after the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.