Gabriel Martinelli admits he was starstruck after meeting Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the first time – Metro.co.uk

Gabriel Martinelli scored two goals in Arsenal's 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest
Gabriel Martinelli scored two goals in Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest (Picture: Getty)

Gabriel Martinelli admitted the magnitude of signing for Arsenal only really began to sink in after he met Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the club’s training ground for the firs time.

The teenager was plucked from relative obscurity by compatriot Edu, Arsenal’s new technical director, earlier this summer having begun to forge a reputation as one of Brazil’s brightest prospects with Ituano in Sao Pauo.

Martinelli featured prominently during pre-season and was rewarded with his Premier League debut, coming on as a late substitute in Arsenal’s victory over Newcastle on the opening weekend of the season.

The 18-year-old has been forced to bide his time for subsequent opportunities but shone on his first start for the club, scoring twice while leading the line during Tuesday’s 5-0 Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest.

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Despite his nerveless performances thus far, Martinelli admits making an instant impact at first team level would not have been possible had he not been welcomed so openly by some of Arsenal’s senior pros.

He told Globo Esporte: ‘It hadn’t sunk in yet. I arrived for lunch on the first day, I’m eating there, Aubameyang arrives and sits next to me, speaking Portuguese with me, ‘Tudo bem?’, trying to communicate.

‘You see, the guy so good, humble. I was like: ‘Man, Aubameyang, who I saw on TV, came to talk to me!’

‘He’s also a guy who gave me a lot of support at the club, trying to communicate with me. I have to thank everyone at the club. They’re very nice people.’

While his own adaptation process has not been so smooth since joining Arsenal from Chelsea, Martinelli revealed the presence of David Luiz has played a huge part in his early success.

He added: ‘It was exceptional for me for David Luiz to come to the group, because he’s Brazilian and helps me in everything in communication with fitness coach, or something I have to do.

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‘If I have questions I ask him how he speaks. Sometimes I ask how he speaks so he doesn’t have to ask for me, so I can learn too, and he does help me.’

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