Arsenal have experienced a major overhaul of their squad which could be set for the final stages of redevelopment in the summer window. Arsenal allowed Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all to leave permanently this winter.
Further departures are expected in the summer with Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette and Mohamed Elneny all facing the end of their current deals. However, within the squad remains a core of players Mikel Arteta intends to progress with at Arsenal.
Additions are being made in the transfer market but players such as Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are existing figures that Arteta has made integral to what he sees as the team’s future.
In 2020, Arsenal were able to convince Martinelli to sign a new deal with the club after breaking through under Unai Emery.
His start to life under Mikel Arteta was not as guaranteed due to an initial injury. However, Arteta bided his time with the 20-year-old before unleashing him in full this campaign.
Martinelli, like Saka, will have just two years remaining on his deal come the summer, although the club does have an option of a further year.
The plan is however to extend Martinelli’s deal far beyond his current contract to protect the future of the Gunners’ top talents.
Jurgen Klopp has been very public as to his admiration for Martinelli in a number of interviews, most recently after the 2-0 win over Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final.
“Little Martinelli, we will talk about this player in the future – I can promise”, Klopp said.
“Without injuries, major injuries, Martinelli will have a proper career.”
Most clubs, including Liverpool, can offer Martinelli big money as an attraction, however, Arsenal are planning to offer the Brazilian something money cannot buy.
The Mirror have suggested that little is stopping the club from passing the now vacant number 14, once worn famously by Thierry Henry and relinquished by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, to Martinelli.
A wide left forward with ambitions of a central striking role, Martinelli certainly fits the mould and history of the number.
It could prove to be the catalyst in talks that convince the young star to commit his long-term future to the club and help Mikel Arteta attempt to return and establish the Gunners back in European’s elite competition.
Martinelli is seen as a key cog in the machine that Arteta is building. If Arsenal can retain their stars, unlike the financially restricted years under Arsene Wenger, and add the world-class talent that Edu spoke of after the summer window of 2021, it would represent positive steps in the right direction.
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