Every time Jurgen Klopp sees Gabriel Martinelli play, he can’t lend a hand however wonder.
The first time the Liverpool boss watched the Arsenal teen in past due 2019, he had simply observed Martinelli rating two times in a 5-5 Carabao Cup mystery at Anfield. The Brazilian ahead was once simply 18 at the time, however Klopp described him as a “talent of the century”.
“He’s really unbelievable,” Klopp added. “So young, looks so mature already, is a proper threat. Yeah, he looks like a really decent player.
“I did not wish to put any backpack [pressure] on his again with this factor however I simply in reality like just right soccer avid gamers and clearly he is a superb one.”
Sunday ninth October 4:00pm
Kick off 4:30pm
Fast ahead 3 years and Klopp’s prophecy seems to be coming true. Arsenal are flying at the peak of the Premier League forward of the seek advice from of Liverpool on Super Sunday, with Martinelli’s kind at the center of their just right play.
This season, the Brazilian is one of the most enjoyable wingers in the department – sitting at the peak of the league’s ratings for a hit dribbles with 20 – whilst simplest Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Bukayo Saka have created extra probabilities than Martinelli this time period. It isn’t unhealthy corporate in any respect.
So is Martinelli on the approach to greatness? The foundations are undoubtedly there – however so is the mentality.
In the All or Nothing documentary which unveiled the behind-the-scenes tale of final season’s marketing campaign at the Emirates Stadium, Martinelli claimed the secret to becoming a “top player”- is the distinction between operating at 90 in step with cent and 100 in step with cent in coaching and fits.
That appears to be rubbing off on his Arsenal team-mates. Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale printed the Gunners now have an “eff it” mentality this season – to stay going and working with no matter occurs, just right or unhealthy. It appears like Martinelli’s philosophy and taste of play.
“He’s so sharp, he’s so fast, he’s so aggressive,” mentioned Arsenal assistant manager Steve Round in the documentary. “He trains every day like it’s his last day on Earth. He’s a diamond.”
Another widespread Arsenal participant at the second in Granit Xhaka has the same opinion. “Gabriel Martinelli has a lot to be one of the best,” mentioned the midfielder after final Saturday’s 3-1 win over Tottenham.
“He goes 100mph. He has to push himself with how far he can go. He has the team and everything around to help him.”
It has now not at all times been this simple crusing for Martinelli and this is the place some other Klopp quote on the Brazilian is available in.
“Little Martinelli, we will talk about this player in the future, I can promise,” mentioned Klopp after Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final win over Arsenal in January of this yr. “If he is without major injuries, he will have a proper career.”
What Klopp must have remembered is Martinelli has already picked up a critical damage. A coaching-ground knee damage sustained at the get started of the coronavirus pandemic in June 2020 dominated him out for 6 months. All the exhausting paintings since arriving at Arsenal for £6m from Brazilian minnows Ituano that earlier summer time have been diminished to ash.
Martinelli needed to get started once more. In the first 11 months since coming back from damage in December 2020, the younger ahead began simply 9 Premier League or European fits. The emergence of Emile Smith Rowe as an choice on the Arsenal left didn’t lend a hand.
Nobody felt Martinelli’s frustration greater than manager Mikel Arteta.
“When he wasn’t playing, he was all the time in my office and every time showing me on the pitch how wrong I was,” mentioned the Arsenal boss in September.
“And the moment that we agreed that he was ready to do it, the way he has improved, the way he is helping the team and still the room for improvement he has is phenomenal.
“He’s simply a unhappy boy [when he’s not playing]. He loves what he does. He’s so desperate to do no matter it takes for him to play that he is all the time there, pushing you and supplying you with the right causes to present him extra mins. It’s simply a pleasure to look at the freedom and persona that he performs with.”
Martinelli’s recovery from injury just makes his story even more impressive. Arsenal’s most recent speed demons to have picked up long-term injuries have never recovered their pace and power after their setbacks – Hector Bellerin, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to name a few.
Martinelli, meanwhile, has maintained – and even developed – his own powerful play.
How does Trent stop the in-form Martinelli?
It is the matter which has ruled a lot of Premier League and World Cup dialog. Is Trent Alexander-Arnold a just right sufficient defender to be deemed peak degree? Well, Klopp was once discussing this very matter six months in the past, with Martinelli at the center of the dialog.
Back in March, Liverpool had gained 2-0 at Arsenal and the Gunners’ Brazilian winger had afflicted Alexander-Arnold all sport, even if he ended up on the profitable facet. At the time, Klopp was once adamant about the Liverpool defender’s defensive functions, which were puzzled in fresh weeks.
“Trent defended incredibly,” mentioned Klopp in March. “Martinelli is such a talented boy. It’s really tricky.
“If someone says Trent cannot shield, they must come to me and I’ll knock them down. I can’t pay attention that anymore, I have no idea what the boy has to do.”
As discussed, Alexander-Arnold is under-fire after some deficient Liverpool presentations, which has led to additional questions on whether or not he’ll make England’s World Cup squad for the Qatar World Cup.
The Liverpool right-back’s most up-to-date Premier League show noticed Brighton’s left-winger Leandro Trossard rating a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw at Anfield – with Alexander-Arnold picked out via some pundits as being at fault for all 3 objectives.
With Alexander-Arnold bobbing up in opposition to the “tricky” and in-form Martinelli as soon as once more at the Emirates this Sunday, Arsenal and Arteta can be silly now not to take a look at the house at the back of Alexander-Arnold on the Liverpool right – a space which Martinelli has operated in so successfully thus far this season – as a space to focus on.
But what Alexander-Arnold will have to additionally consider is that Martinelli has a activity on his fingers to stay him quiet on Sunday, now not simply the opposite direction spherical.
In January’s Carabao Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool, Martinelli as soon as once more proved to be a tough problem for Alexander-Arnold, however the England world got here clear of the sport with two assists, a blank sheet and a spot in the last.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool are having a look at Sunday’s fit as pivotal issues of their seasons. The Gunners will see this as the final acid check to peer if they have got changed the Reds as identify contenders to City, whilst Klopp’s facet can’t have enough money some other slip-up of their top-four struggle, let by myself their identify credentials.
The Martinelli vs Alexander-Arnold struggle might be at the centre of this an important Super Sunday conflict.
Watch Arsenal vs Liverpool continue to exist Super Sunday this weekend on Sky Sports Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm