Arsenal have announced that Brazilian winger Gabriel Martinelli has signed a new long-term contract with the club, keeping him in north London for at least another four-and-a-half years. There is reportedly an option for a further year to be taken up at the club’s discretion as well.
The club have been keen to tie Martinelli down to a new long-term contract ever since the end of last season, when the Brazilian began to establish himself as a first-team starter following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Despite this, Martinelli did have a two-year option in his current contract that the club could have taken, but neither club nor player were too keen on this idea, as they were keen for Martinelli’s recent form to be recognised.
Mikel Arteta’s new project at Arsenal has taken off in a big way in recent months and Martinelli is one of many players at the club deemed “unsellable”, alongside Bukayo Saka, Martin Ødegaard and Emile Smith Rowe.
Martinelli’s fine form towards the end of last season saw him rewarded with the new contract, but also with a more senior shirt number, changing from the number 35 to the number 11, which became available after the sale of Lucas Torreira to Galatasaray.
Martinelli is one of the many success stories to come out of the club in recent years.
After joining from Brazilian 4th division side FC Ituano for a reported fee of £6m, it was initially anticipated that Martinelli would move into the under-23 team.
However, Martinelli began to majorly impress then-head coach Unai Emery and was soon moved into the senior set-up on a regular basis.
When Emery was sacked, Martinelli was moved into the first-team by interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg, wherein he scored his first Premier League goal.
Martinelli initially found first-team opportunities difficult to come by under Mikel Arteta, especially after picking up a long-term knee injury. Despite this, Martinelli kept pushing hard and eventually found his hard work and patience rewarded.
Since establishing himself as a first-team regular, Martinelli has, along with Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, really caught the attentions of the Emirates faithful and has more than earned his place in the first team.
This season, Martinelli has been at the heart of all things great about Arsenal as they currently sit at the top of the Premier League table, with crucial goals coming against Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, as well as two assists.
Martinelli’s fine form this season has also seen him called up to the Brazil national squad at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Though Brazil crashed out of the quarter-finals at the hand of Croatia, Martinelli still played a big part in the team’s journey.
Arsenal’s youngster played in two World Cup qualifiers back in March, before making three apperances at the World Cup, starting his first official game for his country in the 1-0 defeat to Cameroon.
The news will be exceptionally welcomed by Arsenal fans, with attentions now turning to the renewals of both Bukayo Saka and defender William Saliba.
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