Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp once said Arsenal wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli is “a talent of the century”.
The Brazilian teenager joined the Gunners from Ituano for £6m during the 2019 summer transfer window and impressed under three different head coaches throughout his first year in England.
Of the 10 goals he scored across all competitions, two came at Anfield in front of Klopp as Arsenal crashed out of the Carabao Cup on penalties following an astonishing 5-5 draw against Liverpool.
And after witnessing at first hand how special Martinelli is, the Reds boss made a huge claim to delight Gunners supporters and technical director Edu.
Martinelli’s pretty much the same age [as Liverpool defender Sepp Van De Berg] but he’s a talent of the century, he’s an incredible striker, so it’s really difficult,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
“It was not in this game only. I watch a lot of football, so I saw the Europa League games of Arsenal,” Klopp also told the Brazilian TV show Esporte Interativo.
“He’s 18 years old, right? So our scouting department is all over the world and stuff like this, but I think Edu gets all the credit for that signing – he came from… wherever.
“He’s really unbelievable. So young, looks so mature already, is a proper threat. Yeah, he looks like a really decent player.
“But I didn’t want to put any backpack [pressure] on his back with this thing [his earlier remarks] but I just really like good football players and obviously he’s a very good one.”
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With the 19-year-old returning to the Arsenal starting XI for the first time since the 1-1 draw with Fulham in the win over Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, he proved Klopp right.
Martinelli rewarded Mikel Arteta’s faith with a confident display at St James’ Park, rounding it off with a fine assist for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to make it 2-0.
Based on the performance, Klopp’s claim is looking even better, with the Brazilian making a difference to the Gunners attacking threat whether that be from the left or through the middle.