Arsenal has confirmed the signing of teenage Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano. The 18-year-old has joined on a long-term deal and is the Gunners’ first signing of the close season. Martinelli was named in the 2019 Team of the Year for the Campeonato Paulista and was rewarded with a chance to join Brazil’s senior team for a training camp in May. He will link up with his new teammates for pre-season training at Arsenal once the deal, reported to be worth £6million, has been ratified.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Martinelli said: “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. “I am very grateful for everything. I am grateful to God and I will try to make the most out of it. “Training with Brazil was an amazing feeling, a dream come true, being able to be beside great players. I was home when I got the news and I was super happy. “It is a great opportunity to learn and I enjoyed it as much as I could and I have to thank the team for welcoming me with open arms.”
He added: “I am a player who gives his all at all times, I play as a team and always look to win games and win trophies. “I model my game on Cristiano Ronaldo – he is a player who works hard, pushing himself to the next level.” Martinelli made his debut for Ituano in November 2017 and scored 10 goals in 34 appearances for the Sao Paulo-based club.