He's the first Arsenal teenager to reach double figures in a season since Nicolas Anelka, and Gabriel Martinelli is targeting more success over the next few years in North London.
"I want to win the Champions League and lots of domestic titles to make Arsenal’s fans very happy," the Brazilian revealed to FourFourTwo in the April 2020 issue, out now.
"They deserve the best – not only the supporters but all of the club’s staff. I’d like to give back to the club after everything they’ve done for me so far and, as a result, become a Gunners legend."
After arriving from the Brazilian fourth tier last summer, the 18-year-old has been a bright spark in Arsenal's season, scoring braces on both his debut in the League Cup and Europa League, and netting at Stamford Bridge after a 60-yard run through the heart of the Chelsea midfield. Despite this apparent confidence though, Martinelli says he was nervous on his first day at London Colney.
"When I turned up it was lunchtime, and only [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang was sat at the table," He says. "My first thought was, ‘F**k!’"
"I sat next to him, a bit shy, but as Auba speaks Spanish, he struck up a conversation and asked where I was from. We had a nice chat. He had met a random guy from another country, but was so kind and wished me luck."
"After that, there were some pre-season assessments at the gym. All the players were there: [Mesut] Ozil, [Alexandre] Lacazette, Auba... but I couldn’t speak a word of English. ‘Oh my god’ was my initial reaction."
Things are starting to click for the Gunners. Mikel Arteta's side are unbeaten in 2020, with the new manager's positive philosophy starting to shine through. Having worked with three bosses already in his short Premier League career, Martinelli is full of praise for his new manager.
"He’s been brilliant," Martinelli says. "He pays a lot of attention to moves and keeps pushing me to improve my game; not only in attack but defence, too."
"The boss is very wise tactically and incredibly helpful. He’s not an angry guy at all, but likes showing you exactly what to do on the pitch: 'If the ball goes that way, don’t stay here, go there and turn your body that specific way...'"
"He has a keen eye for detail."
Read the full interview with Gabriel Martinelli in the April 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out in shops and available digitally now. Our new magazine reveals the stars of the decade – the 50 wonderkids who'll rule the next 10 years, with an exclusive interview with Marcus Rashford, Vinicius Jr, Erling Haaland, Ruben Neves, and Reece and Lauren James – as well as profiles of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kylian Mbappe. We also chat to Steve Clarke and Mick McCarthy and Scotland and Ireland in the Euro 2020 playoffs, revisit the last time Liverpool won the league, and chat to Nobby Solano, Yakubu and Wes Brown about their careers.
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