Martinelli ready to follow in the footsteps of Arsenal’s Brazilian heroes – Gilberto Silva impressed by Gunners strike sensation

The Invincible has tipped the 18-year-old to become a major star, a sentiment backed up by a key man at the club

Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva is excited to see the progress of striker Gabriel Martinelli at the club.

The 18-year-old is already into double figures of goals for the season and has proven something of a surprise package since arriving from Ituano last summer.

Gilberto is pleased to see his fellow Brazilian thrive at the Gunners, the club at which he won the 2003-04 Premier League title as one of The Invincibles.

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“I’m pleased that Arsenal have Brazilian players. I think it’s fantastic after some of the Brazilian players that followed us not quite hitting the heights but now Martinelli and David [Luiz] are at the club,” he told the club’s official website in a chat with technical director Edu.

“David made the transition from a rival [Chelsea] and joined Arsenal, a club that needs no introduction. 

“Then you have Martinelli, a promising youngster not just for Arsenal, but he’s being talked about in Brazilian football and he made a very good start. He’s doing well and shown his bravery.

“He wore the Arsenal shirt as if he were still playing with his friends at his previous club. I’m pleased that Arsenal managed to get the deal done and he’s in a good position to follow in the footsteps of all the Brazilian players that Arsenal have had.”

Gabriel Martinelli Nicolas Pepe

Edu, meanwhile, also had special praise for the youngster.

“He’s got a great future ahead of him,” he said. “He’s a Brazilian with very interesting prospects because it’s not easy to start the way he did. We know that don’t we Gigi?

“The way he started to make himself stand out isn’t easy is it?”

And Edu hinted that David Luiz’s future seems set to be in London, despite previous indication that he might return to Benfica.

“He’s a guy who can really help in the day-to-day on and off the pitch, as he’s been doing,” he added.

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“I already knew him well because I got to be with him at the national team when I was a coordinator and it went very well.

“We help each other. You know it’s important to feel that support and to be happy in the day-to-day at the club. It’s an incredible club with fantastic principles. They also have to be proud to be where they are; that helps as well.”

Arsenal recommence their Premier League campaign on Wednesday at home against Manchester City.

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