In an article on The Player’s Tribune, Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has revealed that he was snubbed by Manchester United in his youth career despite undergoing several trials.
Martinelli was a relatively unknown to Gunners fans when he was signed from Ituano back in the summer of 2019, but it only took a short time to realise that he had immense potential.
Despite this, he had to work his way into the starting plans. A sublime volleyed goal against Newcastle United 12 months ago changed his fortunes and he has since been a consistent starter.
The €60 million-rated star is currently one of the first names on the team sheet, but things could have been different if Premier League rivals United took the opportunity to land him.
Martinelli has now revealed that he is thankful to God for joining the Gunners and he is so happy with the decision. He added that he could have easily ended up elsewhere.
The youngster had several trials with United between the ages of 15 and 17, but they declined to sign him. Martinelli has now acknowledged that he was shaken by the snub.
He told The Player’s Tribune: “I thank God that I came to Arsenal in 2019. I really believe that things happen for a reason, and I’m so happy here. It’s funny to look back now, because I could so easily have ended up somewhere else.”
“You see, I used to be part of this project at Manchester United. I was actually there for several trials. I even met many of the senior players. When I was 17, I had my last session there, so I went back to Brazil waiting for news.
“One day my dad called me into the living room. He had spoken to my agent and … well, United had said no. Not just, No, for this year. But, No, we don’t want him. At all.
“To be honest, I was shaken. They had seen me play several times, and I was sure they were going to sign me, you know? A few weeks later I got another trial, at Barcelona. I spent 15 days there. They didn’t want me either. That was easier to accept, because it was just one trial.”
Arsenal have an elite winger in their hands
Martinelli started off his Gunners career as a striker. His finishing was top notch which led to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp describing him as the talent of the century.
The Brazilian has since gone from strength-to-strength. While he is no longer a striker for the club, the youngster has made the left wing position his own over the past year.
This season, he has chipped in with five goals and two assists from 20 appearances. He offers much more with his regular high pressing as well as defensive contributions in his own half.
Overall, Martinelli has evolved into a perfect team player. At 21, he has a long and successful career ahead of him. Arsenal will be hoping to keep him for the entirety if possible.
Martinelli’s current deal expires in the summer of 2024, but there is an option to extend for another two years. The hierarchy must still look to reward the youngster for his progress.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com