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Martinelli is open to playing in any position but prefers to start out wide

Gabriel Martinelli did an interview with Brazilian YouTube channel Bolivia Talk Show where he talked about a wide range of things he has learnt and experienced in his first season at Arsenal. The interview was translated and transcribed by Arseblog.

ON HIS INJURY:

“On 21st June I got hurt in training and I had surgery and for a month I couldn’t even put my foot on the floor- but for the last week I have been able to. I’ve started to walk again, doing the basics and re-learning how to walk.”

ON THE BIGGEST CHARACTERS IN THE ARSENAL DRESSING ROOM:

“Lacazette and Auba are always being fun and making people laugh in training but when they enter the pitch, they are always serious – they don’t miss a goal. I learn a lot from David Luiz too, he is very experienced, has won a lot and he is always talking to the younger players, trying to teach them and help them. I have learned a lot from him.”

“I always idolised Cristiano Ronaldo as I have said in many interviews, the way he is always giving 110% and he is always breaking records – I want to mirror that. But in this team I look up to Auba, he is an incredible guy. He is always scoring goals, in the games and in training he always wants more, he always wants to win and is always giving 100%. That’s the mentality I want to follow.”

ON HIS GROUNDING IN FUTSAL [Martinelli played for the Corinthians futsal team until he was 14]:

“It was very important to start with futsal, it helps so much with ball control and taking quick decisions because you don’t have space. In futsal the game moves so quickly that you don’t have time to think, you get the ball and the opponent arrives and you have to make a quick decision and it is like this in the Premier League too.”

ON TRAINING WITH MANCHESTER UNITED AND BARCELONA:

“There was a partnership between Ituano [Martinelli’s previous club] and Manchester United and every year I was chosen to go and train there, I trained there four times but it didn’t work out. In November 2018 I trained with Barcelona, in December I came back and prepared for the Copinha [a big São Paulo U-20 tournament that takes place every January], I played in the Copinha in January 2019, then the Paulistão [the São Paulo state championships that runs from February until May] and then I signed for Arsenal.”

ON WHO WILLIAN WILL REPLACE IN THE STARTING LINE-UP:

“It could be me! He is a great player, he has won a lot and he is going to help us to win titles.”

ON HIS PREFERRED POSITION:

“I like to play open and I play quite centrally, but I prefer to start wide. But my preference is always just to play, centre-half, full-back, goalkeeper, I just want to play.”

Martinelli joined Arsenal from Brazilian third division side Ituano in the summer of 2019. He was expected to get used to English football by playing for the Under 23 team before eventually making the step up to the senior side. The Brazilian impressed in preseason and former Gunners boss Unai Emery decided to include him in the senior squad.

The 19 year old thrived in his debut season in England and skipped the entire adaptation period that most players require before starting to fulfill their potential. He established himself as one of the North London side’s most important players. He scored ten goals and provided four assists in 26 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions last season.

The Brazilian scored a memorable goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He picked up the ball deep inside his own half and drove at the Chelsea defence before calmly slotting past Kepa. It was voted Arsenal’s goal of the season.

Unfortunately, Martinelli suffered a knee injury on June 21st that ruled him out for a significant period of time. He is currently following a tailored daily rehabilitation and fitness programme. The 19 year old is scheduled to return to England on August 31st after which he will step up his rehabilitation. He is aiming to rejoin full training by the end of the year. 

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