EXCLUSIVE – Bob Wilson: ‘Arsenal have an absolute diamond in Martinelli’
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Arsenal legend Bob Wilson believes the club have ‘an absolute diamond’ in young forward Gabriel Martinelli and thinks the Brazilian will be crucial to the club’s future.
The 18-year-old has shone in his first season in England, scoring 10 goals in all competitions after his £6m move from Brazilian fourth-division side Ituano last summer.
Wilson was keen to praise Martinelli and revealed details of conversation with the club's technical director Edu about the youngster.
"I think we've got an absolute diamond in Martinelli," said the former Arsenal goalkeeper.
"I've spoken to Edu about him and he has this ability to sniff out chances that others don't have.
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"It's almost this carefree kind of thing, and Edu said that is thing they feel about him, that he almost has this sixth-sense to get into the right positions."
Despite joining the club as a player for the future, Martinelli has made 14 Premier League appearances in a breakthrough campaign in north London.
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Wilson believes that the Brazilian will be crucial to Arsenal's future and thinks the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be worried about losing their place to the emerging forward.
"He is crucial to the future, even if it's at the expense of Lacazette and Aubameyang," he said.
"You look at those guys right now and they are the ones more likely to be recognised as playing, but not now.
"I haven't seen Lacazette or Aubameyang - both very good players - give the energy that Martinelli has shown."