Arsenal complete £6m deal for Brazilian teenager Martinelli

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The Gunners have snapped up the highly-rated 18-year-old forward from Ituano and tied him to a long-term contract at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal have completed the signing of Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli, with the 18-year-old arriving at Emirates Stadium in a £6 million ($8m) deal.

Sources close to the transfer revealed to Goal back in April that a deal for the highly-rated forward was close.

The Gunners have now tied up an agreement for a player they are hoping to see unlock his full potential in England.

Martinelli has been acquired from Ituano, for whom he made his debut back in November 2017 at just 16 years of age.

Interest in his services built steadily from that point, with Arsenal having won the race for a hot prospect who trained with Brazil’s senior squad ahead of the 2019 Copa America.

Martinelli has signed a long-term contract at Emirates Stadium and is looking forward to testing himself in English football.

He told the club’s official website: “It is a dream since I was a child and also my family’s dream for me to be playing in Europe and playing for a big team like Arsenal. I am going to take this opportunity.”

Martinelli has arrived in north London with big ambitions, with it his intention to help Arsenal compete for major silverware.

He added: “I am a player who gives his all at all times, I play as a team and always looking to win games and win trophies.”

The youngster is certainly setting some lofty benchmarks when it comes to those he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of.

“I model my game on Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a player who works hard, pushing himself to the next level. Always in the run for titles and individual trophies,” said Martinelli.

“I look up to Cristiano Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi and Neymar as they are players who can decide games and are very professional, who dedicate themselves to the whole game.”

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Martinelli is also looking to become the latest in a long line of Brazilians to have made a positive impression during their time with the Gunners.

Quizzed on Arsenal’s Samba stars of the past, he said: “I know a few. I know Edu, Denilson and I know that they have a lot of history at the club.

“Edu, in particular, I had a little contact with him at Corinthians as I had a spell there and I know they had a lot of success here but also for the national team. I am going to try to follow the same route.”

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