Well, well, well. Talk about making an introduction. Having shown glimpses of his enormous potential in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, Gabriel Martinelli put the Premier League on notice with a terrific performance on his first start in the competition.
The Brazilian arrived to relatively little fanfare in the summer, but had gotten his Arsenal career off to a flying start with seven goals in his first 13 appearances. He had yet to make the breakthrough into the team that featured in the league however, and fans of the north London side had even been clamouring for him to play from the off against Brighton in mid-week.
They may not have seen that come to fruition, but after his goal-scoring display against West Ham on Monday night, it was well worth the wait. The Brazilian scored to haul his struggling side level, before the Gunners went on to secure an impressive 3-1 victory away from home. And having seen his performance, Arsenal fans flooded to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the teenager.
Gabriel Martinelli the best Brazilian in the Premier League history
— Aubazettes (@Aubazettes) 9 December 2019
Some Gunners fans were keen on hailing not just his goal, but his overall work ethic and hunger, with the Brazilian often seen haring after West Ham players in an attempt to win back possession – as per Sofascore, he actually made a team-high three tackles.
Some very good performances. Pepe goal and assist. Torreira immense. But my MOTM goes to Gabriel Martinelli. We haven’t won a league game in over 2 months. Up step 18 y/o Martinelli. What a calm finish. Catalyst for the comeback. Immense work rate throughout. Top quality talent.
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) 9 December 2019
You can tell Martinelli will score goals no matter where he plays. He’s fearless, & unlike most of the other players, hungry & full of self belief. pic.twitter.com/gpgBCJSUp9
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) 9 December 2019
Martinelli is everything you want in a player. Unbelievable quality and 100% work ethic. It took an 18 year old kid from Brazil on his first PL start to turn things around and get us our first league win in over 2 months. We are so lucky to have him.
— Paddy (@VieiraPaddy) 9 December 2019
Understandably, some Gunners fans were so excited about the 5 foot 11 man that they couldn’t help compare him to some of the north London side’s talented and iconic forwards of yesteryear.
Got the look of a young Anelka about him
— Arsenalinmyblood (@MarkribetRibet) 9 December 2019
Relentless this guy is,just like sanchez was,hungry as ever
— रैम्बो सिंह (@RamboSingh_) 9 December 2019
Martinelli reminds me of peak Alexis Sanchez
— One Arsene Wenger (@Arsenalexiis) 9 December 2019
I don’t want to over hype Gabriel Martinelli or put too much pressure on the eighteen-year-old NEW THIERRY HENRY’s shoulders but we appear to have ourselves something of a player here gooners #Arsenal #martinelli
— NW10 Gooner (@willesdengooner) 9 December 2019
Lofty praise indeed. But in such a difficult season that led to the sacking of Unai Emery just a couple of weeks ago, Martinelli’s performance offered a rare silver lining. And that is something for the Gunners to desperately cling on to.