Jurgen Klopp may had been proper about the Brazilian winger, who’s tearing full-backs to shreds this season.
Bukayo Saka’s first purpose in the 3-2 win in opposition to Liverpool final weekend used to be the highest instance of the new and advanced Gabriel Martinelli.
When Arsenal’s younger winger picked the ball up from Gabriel Jesus, he had 1/2 of the pitch in entrance of him to run into. He additionally knew there have been simply seconds left of first-half stoppage time.
Not see you later in the past, this actual scenario would have led to 1 factor. Martinelli would have put his head down and simply charged in opposition to purpose with little idea of what used to be happening round him.
That’s no longer a grievance, that’s simply the place he used to be in his sport, having best been plucked from the Brazilian decrease leagues as an untried teen in 2019.
But we at the moment are seeing a other Martinelli. A participant who has advanced below Mikel Arteta. A participant who is aware of precisely what to do, and when to do it.
So, when he gained the ball from Jesus and prompt in opposition to the Liverpool purpose on Sunday, he already had a image in his thoughts of how issues had been going to play out.
It wasn’t about scoring himself; it used to be about getting into the highest place to arrange a team-mate.
And Martinelli did precisely that, drawing the Liverpool defenders throughout ahead of rolling the ball throughout the six-yard field to present Saka a tap-in at the again submit.
It used to be top of the range wing play from a participant who has long gone up some other degree all the way through the first couple of months of 2022-23.
“I think it’s my best season here,” Martinelli mentioned after Sunday’s win in opposition to Liverpool. “I’m so happy for this moment.”
And so he will have to be.
Martinelli has already scored 4 occasions in 9 Premier League appearances this season – simply two fewer than he controlled in the complete 2021-22 marketing campaign.
The 21-year-old additionally has two assists, together with the one he produced to arrange Saka so superbly on Sunday.
“He’s a great player,” Mikel Arteta mentioned when requested about Martinelli’s efficiency in opposition to Jurgen Klopp’s facet.
“I think he had an outstanding performance against a top team. He made a difference in the game and that’s the next level, to step up in these games and actually make things happen.”
Martinelli has all the time been a participant who can excite when he’s on the pitch – that’s why he used to be such an rapid hit among Arsenal fanatics following his transfer from Ituano 3 years in the past.
However, every now and then, his inexperience would let him down, particularly together with his finish product in the ultimate 3rd.
Arteta has labored exhausting on making improvements to that and this season we at the moment are seeing a way more scientific model of Martinelli.
The Brazilian is averaging a purpose each 195.8 mins to this point, which is a marked development upon his earlier marketing campaign (one each 311 mins).
His shot conversion price is 15.4 % – up from 11.5 % from 2021-22. He could also be averaging extra pictures in step with sport (3 in comparison to 2.5), extra pictures on track (1.3 in comparison to 0.8), growing extra probabilities (2.3 in comparison to 1.6) and finishing extra dribbles (2.3 in comparison to 2.2).
Martinelli has formed 19 probabilities from open play this time period – best Mohamed Salah (26) and Kevin De Bruyne (20) have created extra.
Not best is he now a extra dynamic participant, however he’s additionally a extra productive participant.
And – along Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka – he is a part of a entrance 3 this is as bad as any in the English most sensible flight, with the trio already gathering 22 direct purpose involvements between them.
“It’s amazing to play alongside them,” Martinelli mentioned. “We have a lot of time to improve. I think we have great quality, and I think we can do more.”
The key factor for Arsenal now could be to get Martinelli’s long-term long term secured.
Improved performances will of direction see golf equipment from throughout Europe casting their eyes in opposition to Arsenal’s prodigious younger skill.
He is now into the ultimate two years of his contract, which expires in the summer season of 2024, even though the Gunners do have the possibility of extending that deal by way of a additional two years.
Arsenal are mindful, alternatively, that Martinelli must be rewarded with advanced phrases that fit his stature in the workforce and talks over a new contract are progressing.
The participant is in certainly that he “wants to stay” and Arsenal fanatics might be hoping that negotiations are swift and rather ache unfastened as a result of Martinelli has confirmed already this season that he’s as particular as many of us predicted he could be.
The boy that Jurgen Klopp as soon as described as the “talent of the century” is all grown up.