Rio Ferdinand has moved to hail the maturity of Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli.
The Brazilian is yet to feature so far this season due to a knee injury, which he suffered shortly after the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to the football season, but is hoped to return to action in the new year.
Despite the fact that he hasn’t played in eight months, last seen on March 2 when taking on Portsmouth in the FA cup, he most certainly hasn’t been forgotten, and it is former Man United defender Rio who has moved to praise the youngster.
“To be 18-years-old, doing what he’s doing. The goal against Chelsea alone, he runs from the edge of his box – a set-piece against his team – he takes it to the other end,” the Man United legend said.
“Normally, your legs are gone by then, you’ve got no energy and no juice in your legs, but he has the composure to slot it.
“Great player, but the awareness of the way he plays, the way he moves on the pitch, the intelligence to receive the ball, the positions he takes up.
“He comes inside at the right time to allow Saka to have space on the outside and ask the opposing full-backs the questions; ‘Are you gonna come inside with me, or are you gonna stay with Saka?’.
“It’s mad. He’s a mature player for such a young kid.”
It will be a relief to see Martinelli take to the field in the near future, and you would hope that he would get plenty of minutes while our current crop are failing to impress at present.
Martinelli appears to have the right mentality to hit the ground running when he is able to feature again, but how long it will take between him returning to full training before making the matchday squad remains unknown.
Have Arsenal missed Martinelli so far this season?