Can Italy and Brazil allow Martinelli be allowed to build on his Arsenal career for now? by Lagos Gooner
We should be treated to another round of scintillating premiership football games this weekend, especially from Arsenal, who will be definitely refreshed after the winter break.
In this write up, I would like to allay my fears concerning the battle for our kid prodigy, Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian born talent has made a great impact for Arsenal since his arrival last summer. It is therefore not misplaced that two nations, Brazil and Italy, are fighting to secure his international future with either of them. He is Brazilian born but has an Italian passport, which qualifies him to play for the Azzurri.
It is a good thing that Martinelli’s hard work is being noticed all over the world, but then we need to be made to realize that Gabriel is not yet up to the age of 21, and that he is still in his development stages. So many youth prodigies in the past have had their growth stunted or cut short due to the unwanted pressure they were saddled with at such a young age. When Theo Walcott, our former winger was taken to the World Cup at the age of 17 in 2006 it was a surprise to many, including me. A surprise because I was one of those who felt going to the World cup at that age was not best for him. He had hardly started making waves at Arsenal before being thrown into the national limelight. I am so convinced that his World Cup appearance then added to the extra weight of expectation he faced throughout his stay at Arsenal. A lot of expectations at such a young age are not too healthy for the growth of a player.
It is a good thing to read that Arsenal once refused to release Martinelli to the Brazilian national team when they requested his services in a pre-Olympics tournament. Deciding to release him or not is the right of the club who pays so much to develop young players. I am very sure even Arteta knows that there will be a period where he won’t be able to decide when Gabriel can play for his national team or not, but for now, he has the power to determine if Gabriel is ready emotionally and mentally for the extra pressure playing for a national team brings.
Please both Brazil and Italy should leave this kid alone for now and maybe come back in two or three years time.
We are Arsenal and we are proud.