Confirmed: South American completes ‘dream’ move to Arsenal on long-term contract

By on July 2, 2019

gabriel Martinelli arsenal

Arsenal have finally unveiled their first signing of the summer after confirming Gabriel Martinelli has joined the club on a long term contract from Ituano.

Martinelli has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal in recent months after emerging as one of the most highly-rated young attackers in Brazilian football since joining Ituano from Corinthians in 2015.

The 18-year-old made his debut for the Sao-Paulo based club in November 2017 and he’s contributed 10 goals and 4 assists in his 34 games while he was voted as the 2019 ‘Best Newcomer’ and made the Team of the Year in the Campenonato Paulista.

His huge potential also led to Martinelli being invited to train with the Brazilian senior squad ahead of the Copa America last month so he certainly seems to have a bright future ahead of him.

Martinelli attracted interest from plenty of top European clubs but Arsenal emerged as front runners with Football London reporting last month that we had agreed a £6m deal with Ituano to sign the teenage wonderkid.

Arsenal announced on Arsenal.com today that the South American youngster has now completed his move to the club after signing a long-term contract and he’ll join his new team mates for pre-season training shortly.

After completing his move, Martinelli told Arsenal.com that it’s been his ‘dream’ to play in Europe for a big club like Arsenal and he says he models his game on Cristiano Ronaldo. Let’s hope he turns out to be even half as good!

Could you let the fans know what kind of player you are?
I am a player who gives his all at all times, I play as a team and always looking to win games and win trophies.

Which player do you model your game on?
I model my game on Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a player who works hard, pushing himself to the next level. Always in the run for titles and individual trophies.

Are there any players that you look up to?
I look up to Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar as they are players who can decide games and are very professional, who dedicate themselves to the whole game.

What excites you most about this opportunity at Arsenal?
It is a dream since I was a child and also my family’s dream for me to be playing in Europe and playing for a big team like Arsenal. I am going to take this opportunity.

Martinelli doesn’t need a work permit as he has an Italian passport so we don’t have to worry about any red tape or loaning him out for a couple of years, as has been the case with some previous South American signings.

A right winger by trade, Martinelli can play anywhere in attack but it remains to be seen what Emery’s plans are for him. Martinelli could start out with the U23s but if he impresses during pre-season training then he may go straight into the first team squad.

We could certainly do with more wingers in the team so hopefully Martinelli settles quickly into life in England as he could prove to be a useful addition to the squad.

The Brazilian becomes our first signing of the summer but we should see plenty more business done at the Emirates before the start of the new season as Emery badly needs to revamp his ageing and unbalanced squad.