Ronaldinho is convinced that youngster, Gabriel Martinelli, can follow in the footsteps of Brazil legend Ronaldo. This comes after his breakthrough onto the scene in sensational style at Arsenal.
Martinelli has been the Gunners knight and shining armor in what has been an extremely difficult season. The young lad has managed to score 10 goals in 21 matches, including a fantastic 70-yard solo goal against London rivals Chelsea. Ouch!
Martinelli has shown no signs of slowing down or fears whatsoever, which has led to superstar act Ronaldinho comparing him to his 2002 World Cup-winning team-mate.
“We as Brazilians are very excited about him and his future. It is one thing to have the talent but another at the age of 18 to have the confidence,” Ronaldinho told media outlets.
‘He reminds me of Ronaldo his first season in Europe he scored 30 goals and people were thinking: “who is this 18 year old Brazilian kid?”
“He wanted the ball, he would run at players, there was no fear no matter what players or team he was playing against and I see that similar attitude in Martinelli. He just wants to be on the ball and score goals. Ronaldo went on to be the best player in the world and that can also be the aim of Martinelli.”
Mikel Arteta is very much ef impressed with Gabriel Martinelli, staying he is fulfilled with his “incredible” spirit, but warns it’s Arsenal job to protect the 18-year-old.
Martinelli, seemingly can’t stop scoring as he has scored in Arsenal’s last two matches to take his tally to 10 for the season. This will make him the first teenager since superstar Nicolas Anelka to reach double figures for the club in a single campaign.
As Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been abscent in recent times due to a red card suspension, Martinelli has helped to fill the gap. Arteta certainly could not hold back his delight and says he has been impressed by the Brazilian since arriving as head coach in December.
Martinelli who joined from Brazilian lower-league side Ituano at the start of the season, has gone on to play 21 times for Arsenal.
Arteta says the challenge for the Gunners is to help the forward to maintain his consistency, saying: “That is the risk and not just him, but all of us and me included and the club and the people around him.”
“We have to support him and protect him. We cannot just give him the license to think he can do that every single day.He needs to play with that freedom where he has the license to do what he wants to do on the pitch, but with the pressure really that it doesn’t always have to be him to do it.”
Martinelli is best known for his speed, positional awareness, and goalscoring ability.