Rio Ferdinand makes bold Gabriel Martinelli prediction
Rio Ferdinand has tipped Gabriel Martinelli to play at the very top for years to come after his solid start to the season.
The young Brazilian joined Arsenal from Ituano in the summer and he has got off to a blistering start with 10 goals in just over 20 games for the Gunners this season.
His performances prompted Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp to label him the talent of the century and even questioned why the Liverpool scouts in Brazil didn’t spot him.
He has continued to impress under Mikel Arteta with the Spanish manager moulding him into an even better player.
Rio Ferdinand has become the latest professional to hail the Brazil under 23 star and the former Manchester United man went on to claim that he expects him to be a star in the years to come.
Ferdinand said per Football London: “I watched him against Bournemouth away man, Jesus, the way this boy played. I watched him against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Come on.
“He is a proper player, I think he’s going to be a major player in world football in years to come. To be 18 years old and doing what he is doing…
“The goal against Chelsea alone, runs from the edge of his box, takes it up the other end, normally the legs are gone by then, there’s no juice in the legs, but he’s got the composure to slot it.
“A great player, but his awareness of the way he plays and the way he moves on the pitch, his intelligence to receive the ball, the positions he takes up.
“He comes inside at the right time to allow [Bukayo] Saka space to run on the outside.
“He asks the opposing full-back questions like, ‘Are you going to come inside with me or are you going with Saka?’
“It’s mad. He’s a mature player for such a young kid.”
The highlight of Martinelli’s career this season has to be the goal he scored against Chelsea in their 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
The wonder-kid ran from his half and cooly slotted past the Chelsea goalkeeper to help ten-man Arsenal get an unexpected point.