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Brazil wonderkid Martinelli may steal show in London showdown

Arsenal are on top of the Premier League table following their blistering start to the season and coach Mikel Arteta will be glad about the form of his players and one of those that have distinguished themselves is Gabriel Martinelli whom the Spanish tactician will depend on for victory over neighbors Tottenham today. Arsenal have marked a strong start to their campaign, winning six of their opening seven Premier League matches with the Brazilian playing an influential role in the rollercoaster ride.

The 21-year-old has had to bide his time since arriving at the Emirates back in 2019, however his importance has gradually increased year on year and he’s now one of the first names on Arteta’s team sheet. He’s featured in all seven Premier League matches, plus the Europa League contest against FC Zurich, and has scored three goals. That’s already half of his combined league total for the entirety of the last campaign. Martinelli has been one of the top players in the Premier League for attacking involvements this season, according to the stats.

Focusing on open-play opportunities, Opta data from The Analyst shows that Martinelli has taken 19 shots, created 15 chances, and been involved in the build-up to a shot on 12 occasions, giving him an open-play Attacking Sequence Involvement total of 46 chances.

Only Kevin De Bruyne (also 46) can match that total in the entire Premier League. On top of this, The Analyst recently produced a visualization that highlighted that no player in the Premier League had been involved in more open-play attacking sequences than Martinelli. He’s been involved in 46 attacking sequences, which is the same number as De Bruyne.

The same breaks down to a very impressive open-play attacking sequence average of one every 13.1 minutes. While more people are starting to sit up and take note of Martinelli’s attacking ability, the 21-year-old already has a number of admirers in the footballing world. One of those is famously Jurgen Klopp who spoke glowingly of the attacker, calling him a “talent of the century”. His coach, Arteta admits Martinelli is the symbol of the progress that the club has made over the last year, with the Brazilian looking like a ‘different player’.

“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,’ said Arteta after the 3-0 win over Brentford last time out. “He matures, he recognizes situations, execution level, the understanding and even physically he looks a different player. I thought he was really good again today.” Arsenal are bidding to consolidate on their leadership of the EPL table but a faceoff with Spurs is always a ‘bloody’ one. Can sleeky Martinelli deliver the day for Arteta? The stage is set!

 

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