Former Arsenal star Kevin Campbell has revealed his opinion that Gabriel Martinelli possesses similar characteristics to Brazilian legend Ronaldo.
Versatile attacker Martinelli of course made the move to the Emirates in the summer of 2019, from his home country of Brazil.
With Arsenal having also secured the high-profile additions of the likes of Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Pepe, though, Martinelli’s arrival slipped somewhat under the radar.
The campaign that ensued, however, saw the South American prodigy stand out as arguably the most consistent of the Gunners’ batch of summer signings.
Despite his tender years, Martinelli already looks a genuine star in the making.
The youngster possesses all of the desirable traits of a modern attacker, combining touch, stature, poise, pace, the ability to beat opposing defenders and, perhaps most significantly of all, a real eye for goal.
This allowed Martinelli to directly contribute to a remarkable 10 goals across 9 appearances between the League Cup and Europa League in 2019/20.
In addition, crucially, he began to carry his goalscoring exploits onto the Premier League stage earlier this year, with key strikes versus the likes of Sheffield United and Chelsea.
Fill in the blank…
My favourite Gabriel Martinelli moment so far is _________ 💭
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 12, 2020
‘Reminds me of him…’
As such, it no doubt came as a major blow to club and player alike when, on the back of football’s return in June, word was forthcoming that Martinelli was set for a considerable spell on the sidelines.
The 19-year-old was forced under the knife, to fix a lingering knee problem.
In turn, he has now not taken to the pitch for a single appearance since all the way back in February.
The hope at the Emirates, though, is that Martinelli will make his comeback before the end of the year.
And, as outlined above, one individual who is hugely excited by the prospect of the attacker’s return is ex-Gunners hitman Kevin Campbell.
Speaking in an interview with Football Insider over the weekend, Campbell, who was on Arsenal’s books from 1988 to 1995, revealed his opinion that Martinelli was nothing short of ‘sensational’ during his debut campaign in the English capital, before drawing comparisons between the playing styles of the teen and fellow countryman Ronaldo:
‘I think Martinelli is the one, I really do. Martinelli was sensational when he came in last season.’
‘He is a real handful – strong, direct and reminds me of the Brazilian Ronaldo.’
‘The way that he picks up the ball and runs at goal is phenomenal.’
‘I am not saying that he is Ronaldo but he reminds me of him, especially with that goal he scored at Chelsea.’
‘Big future, but I do not want to put too much pressure on him because he suffered that injury and he needs time to come back and get his feet under the table again, get comfortable and play games.’
‘Players tend to get long-term injuries and then come back and pick a niggle up somewhere else.’
‘He will need time to get back into the swing of things.’
Mikel Arteta has his own Brazilian Ronaldo at Arsenal.https://t.co/n7e826J5fk
— football.london (@Football_LDN) November 9, 2020