Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli has revealed he was invited over to England for four separate trials with Manchester United – who rejected him every time. The 20-year-old forward has become one of the faces of Mikel Arteta’s exciting Arsenal project that is centred around the emergence of several young players.
Martinelli is one of the north London club’s shining lights having found the net four times in the Premier League this season.
Arteta has been keen to deploy him on the left side of his attack and there is belief that Martinelli has the potential to become a superstar at the Emirates Stadium.
However, it hasn’t always been easy for the Brazilian, who has been forced to stomach a number of significant setbacks along the way.
He has now revealed that United rejected him following four separate trials, claiming the club never once told him they wanted to sign him.
“I actually had four different trials at United when I was 13, 14, 15 and 16,” Martinelli told The Athletic.
“This was in Manchester at the club’s training base. I met first-team players, like Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra.
“There was never a moment, though, when they said they wanted me (to sign) there. But it give me a taste and made the adaptation a little easier because I had experienced football in England.
“Even after those trials, I always believed in myself. My mind is always thinking, “I can do it.”‘
Arsenal living to regret snubbing Unai Emery’s glowing £12.5m transfer recommendation
Arsenal ‘join Raphinha race’ as two Leeds contract clauses dictate transfer pice
Man Utd board ‘prepare new contracts’ for two surprise Ralf Rangnick favourites
Martinelli also travelled to Catalonia in Spain for a trial with Barcelona at La Masia. It wasn’t to be.
It wasn’t long before Arsenal came calling though, snapping up the nimble attacker from Ituano in the summer of 2019 for an undisclosed fee.
Arsenal’s head of international scouting Francis Cagigao jetted off to South America to watch Martinelli in action at the ‘Copinha’ – an Under-20s tournament.
For all of the Gunners’ questionable business in recent times, Martinelli is a signing the club can be proud of.
His development has seen him receive glowing references from the likes of Jurgen Klopp, on more than one occasion.
Speaking after Liverpool’s 5-4 EFL Cup win over Arsenal in 2019, Klopp said: “Martinelli’s pretty much the same age but he’s a talent of the century, he’s an incredible striker, so it’s really difficult.”
Last month, the German took the chance to praise Martinelli again after the 2-0 semi-final second-leg win in north London.
“Little Martinelli, we will talk about this player in the future, I can promise,” he said.
Arsenal are understandably keen to tie Martinelli down to a new contract with the club.
Source Link: Read more