Chelsea v Arsenal: Pictures
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Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has shone in the Premier League so far this season, with his call-up to Brazil’s World Cup squad highlighting how quickly he has progressed. The forward has scored five and assisted two in 13 league appearances so far this season.
The Gunners have made a terrific start to the season and regained their spot at the top of the table on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Central defender Gabriel scored the all-important goal for Mikel Arteta’s side, with the scoreline underrepresenting their dominance.
Martinelli was a constant threat for Arsenal down the left and his pace forced Chelsea to sit deep, thus inviting pressure. The 21-year-old has benefitted from the arrival of international teammate Gabriel Jesus at the Emirates Stadium, with the striker proving to be the final piece of the puzzle in the final third.
Martinelli was named as one of Tito’s forwards for the Qatar World Cup later this month, his first major international tournament – highlighting his significant progress recently. As indicated by Tim Stillman, the winger was playing for Brazilian fourth-division side Ituano in 2019 when Brazil won the Copa America.
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The attacker joined Arsenal later that year before rising through the ranks quickly as a teenager, spending his first two campaigns in north London adjusting to life in the Premier League before becoming one of the first names on the teamsheet under Arteta.
Arsenal are hoping to extend Martinelli’s contract in the coming months now that he has become an invaluable asset at the club. His current deal expires in 2024 though all parties have been very public about their confidence in striking a new deal.
Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly been keeping tabs on Martinelli’s contract situation and are ready and waiting in case a deal cannot be found and the exciting prospect runs into the final year of his contract. However, a solid World Cup campaign matched with a title charge would certainly indicate to Martinelli that the grass elsewhere is unlikely to be greener.
Speaking last month about the progress that his No 11 has made over the past 12 months, Arteta said: “When you see where he is a year ago from when he played against Brentford to where he is today is phenomenal but it is his desire to train hard every day.
“It is a nightmare to play against him and we know we have a real threat up front.” It remains to be seen whether Martinelli will feature in Qatar given that he has just three international appearances to his name currently.
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