After a poor start to the season, the 20-year-old has been a key member of Mikel Arteta’s side since the end of November, even keeping Emile Smith Rowe out of the starting XI.
His efforts have earned him his first call-up to Brazil’s senior team this month, and the Selecao will be looking to secure the future of one of the Premier League’s most exciting young players.
Arsenal’s youngster arrived at the Emirates in 2019 and has created a name for himself in north London. Martinelli is a rising star who has already helped his country win Olympic gold in Tokyo.
He recently received his first call-up to Brazil’s senior team, having previously only played for their minor teams.
Martinelli has dual Brazilian-Italian citizenship, and Chelsea’s midfielder, who was instrumental in the Azzurri’s Euro 2020 success, attempted to entice the Arsenal man away from the South American team.
Jorginho himself might have played for Brazil but chose not to, a decision Martinelli will not follow.
Gabriel Martinelli revealed that Jorginho made a sly attempt to switch his international allegiance but he never considered representing anyone but Brazil!
He was if anyone approached him about playing for Italy, and Martinelli told Globo about it:
“No-one spoke to me, only Jorginho once said to me, ‘I hope to see you in March, something like that, but no-one [official] spoke to me, no.” He added: “As I’ve said before, my dream was always to play for Brazil. I was just waiting for the opportunity to play for Brazil.”
Martinelli has established himself as a regular at Arsenal in recent months, taking up a position on the left side of a forward line. His finishing talent has earned him a spot as a possible No. 9, although the player prefers to operate in vast areas.
At the international level, this will mean he will face a lot of competition, which the youngster is well aware of.
He said: “I prefer to play on the wings, the left side especially. But I also like to reach the box a lot with a chance to finish. I can also play on the right side, but my favorite position is on the left-wing, cutting inside and getting as close to the goal as possible. We have many stars in our squad, but I will try to take advantage of the opportunity I have in the best way possible.
“All of the players are great, each of us has our own strengths. Neymar has his, Vini has his, [Ajax winger] Antony has his. I will do my best to get my place in the World Cup squad.” Brazil face Chile and Bolivia in the next week which could provide the Arsenal man with a chance to impress.
“With a world cup right around the corner – one of the best tournaments in the world – I want to go and play.”
Martinelli has been joined in the Brazil squad by Arsenal teammate Gabriel, with the defender also looking to make his debut.