Mikel Arteta has lavished praise on Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli, claiming that he literally looks like a ‘different player’ these days.
Martinelli helped the Gunners to a 3-0 victory away to Brentford today as Arteta’s side moved top of the Premier League table.
The 21-year-old Brazilian dynamo wasn’t among the goals this time, but he has netted three times in seven Premier League outings this season.
This time last year, Martinelli wasn’t even a regular starter under Arteta.
And the Spanish manager, speaking to Arsenal’s official website, has paid tribute to the youngster’s improvement.
He said: “In a year, if you look at the game that he played here a year ago and today, it’s just incredible how fast they grow, they mature, they recognise situations, execution level, the understanding and even physically he looks a different player. I thought he was really good again today.”
Arsenal desperately need to sign Martinelli to a new contract.
The South American, a £6 million signing in 2019, is only contracted to the North Londoners until 2024 and given his ability, bigger fish are likely to come sniffing around sooner or later.
That’s why it’s imperative Arteta leads the Emirates Stadium outfit into the Champions League this season.
Because if Arsenal fail to finish in the top four yet again, the likes of Martinelli and Bukayo Saka – also contracted until 2024 – might start looking elsewhere.