Gabriel Martinelli made his Olympics debut for Brazil in their goalless draw against Ivory Coast on Sunday.
Down to 10 men after only 14 minutes when Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz was shown a straight red card, the point was probably a better result for the Brazilians than their counterparts.
And after missing out on the matchday squad completely for the Group D opener – a 4-2 win over Germany – the Arsenal wonderkid was named on the bench against Ivory Coast.
Then with just under a quarter of an hour remaining, Gunners supporters tuning into the action got their wish as Martinelli was introduced to proceedings.
Despite not being able to force a breakthrough during his time on the pitch, the 20-year-old was clearly delighted to get some minutes under his belt.
So much so that he took to social media after the game to post a simple three-word message.
“The fight continues,” he wrote on Instagram.
Martinelli’s message comes at a time where a new role for him at Arsenal has been teased by manager Mikel Arteta.
Amid reports that Willian could be on his way this summer after being disappointed with how things turned out at the Emirates Stadium last season, Martinelli stands to benefit.
Often overlooked in favour of his compatriot towards the end of the 2020/21 campaign, one less player ahead of him in the pecking order can only boost his chances for more game time next term.
Interestingly, Arteta has outlined the youngster’s ability to entertain Arsenal fans which may hint at a more prominent role for the forward once he returns from Olympics duty.
“Kieran [Tierney] has this capacity, and Emile [Smith Rowe] as well, to lift the crowd with an action, Gabi Martinelli has this capacity – and this is something you either have or you don’t have,” Arteta said.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
By signing up to our newsletter here, you’ll be kept up to date on the latest news and rumours as they break, all in one place. You’ll also receive exclusive insight and articles from club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak, all for free.
We also want to hear from you. Create an account here in just a few moments, so you can have your say on all things Arsenal, join the debate and take part in exclusive Q&As as well.
Whilst Martinelli has been away, there has been a clamour for him to be handed a new shirt number.
Currently, he wears the No.35 shirt, but several Arsenal fans are hoping that he will soon switch to the famous No.11 shirt that has been worn by the likes of Robin van Persie, Mesut Ozil, Martin Odegaard and Marc Overmars.
Although for that to happen, Lucas Torreira – the club’s incumbent no.11 – would have to leave this summer.
Do you want an exclusive pre-season Arsenal preview – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy!