Jurgen Klopp’s Gabriel Martinelli prediction comes true as Arsenal transfer chief sent message
Gabriel Martinelli was previously hailed as a “talent of the century” by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
The Arsenal striker has been one of the standout young players in the Premier League this season, after hitting double figures in his first year in England.
Martinelli joined the Gunners from Ituano FC last summer, but his impressive performances have attracted the attention of clubs across Europe, with reports claiming Real Madrid and Liverpool are keeping an eye on the forward.
Indeed, Liverpool boss Klopp praised Martinelli immediately after Liverpool knocked Arsenal out of the Carabao Cup earlier this season, and predicted that the Brazilian would go on to greater things.
The teenager has since proved the German right, after hitting form around Christmas and netting crucial goals in the Premier League against West Ham, Sheffield United and Chelsea.
“That’s really difficult to deal with these guys,” Klopp previously told Liverpool’s official website in October.
“Martinelli’s pretty much the same age [as Liverpool defender Sepp Van De Berg] but he’s a talent of the century, he’s an incredible striker, so it’s really difficult.
“Then you have Mesut Ozil around and Willock right, who scored by the way a really nice one, so a team like Arsenal in a counter-attacking mood – we keep them deep, play around them, we lose the ball and then it’s really difficult.”
Speaking a month later, Klopp insisted that Edu – Arsenal’s Technical Director – deserved all the credit for unearthing what looks to be a “really decent player”.
“It was not in this game only. I watch a lot of football, so I saw the Europa League games of Arsenal,” Klopp told Brazilian TV channel Esporte Interativo.
“He’s 18 years old, right? So our scouting department is all over the world and stuff like this, but I think Edu gets all the credit for that signing – he came from… wherever.
“He’s really unbelievable. So young, looks so mature already, is a proper threat. Yeah, he looks like a really decent player.
“But I didn’t want to put any backpack [pressure] on his back with this thing [his earlier remarks] but I just really like good football players and obviously he’s a very good one.”