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'Incredible' Martinelli is a nightmare, he never gives up - Holding

18:36 BST 23/10/2019
Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 2019-20
The 18-year-old Brazilian forward has taken to life at the Emirates immediately, and is already giving his team-mates sleepless nights after training

Arsenal defender Rob Holding says Gunners new boy Gabriel Martinelli is a 'nightmare' to play against, and is hugely impressed with how the 18-year-old has settled in north London.

The young Brazilian joined Arsenal from Ituano over the summer, and has made an impression on the first-team squad straight away.

He has featured three times off the bench in the Premier League, and scored braces against Standard Liege and Nottingham Forest in the Europa League and Carabao Cup, respectively.

“Martinelli has come in and settled really well,” Holding told a press conference.

“In training every day, he works hard. He puts you under pressure constantly and never stops running, which as a centre-half is a nightmare.

“You want a striker that will sort of give up on you, but he never gives up. His finishing has been unbelievable, even with his head.

“He's only a small guy but the headed goals he's scored in the Forest game and the Standard Liege game have been incredible goals, to be fair to him.”

Crucially, Martinelli has been putting the hours in away from the pitch as well as on it.

While the language barrier is clearly an issue for any young player starting life on a new continent, Holding says Martinelli is using the team’s optional group yoga sessions as an opportunity to learn the language, as well as practice his Lotus.

“I think he's really close with [goalkeeper] Emi Martinez,” Holding added.

“He spends a lot of time with him and I think he's translating for him as he picks up English. In yoga, he is trying to learn as much English as he can.

“It's only a small group of like five or six of us, so he's learning English as he goes along and he's making an effort, which is important.

“There are about six players, plus Freddie Ljungberg, he joins in and does a bit of yoga. It's a good group there and it's up to you, if you want to do it, you can do it. We come in and do one session a week. I enjoy it so I do it.”