Rio Ferdinand’s prediction coming true at Arsenal as £12.6m star belies price tag

Gabriel Martinelli has been in sparkling form for Arsenal in recent games as the Gunners continue to impress in the Premier League.

As it stands, Arsenal are sat nicely in fourth-place in the table as Mikel Arteta looks to bring Champions League football back to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since the 2016/17 season.

After a woeful start to the campaign – that saw the Gunners lose their opening three matches in the top-flight – it’s been a turnaround in fortunes for the north Londoners.

The youngsters such as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe played a massive part in Arsenal’s improved form, but over recent games, Martinelli in particular has been key.

Rewind to the end of November, Arsenal were leading Newcastle United 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium – with the visitors threatening a bit. Martinelli was introduced for the final 26 minutes of the match and instantly made his presence felt with a tremendous finish.

That, coupled with an injury to Saka, convinced Arteta to start him against Manchester United a few days later – with the Brazilian winger registering an assist in the 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford.

The 20-year-old then played 71 minutes in the loss to Everton, before providing another assist a few days later in the convincing victory over Southampton.

Martinelli then scored the opening goal against West Ham United earlier this month, before a double versus Leeds United at the weekend. That means the Brazilian has had six direct goal involvements (three goals and three assists) in as many Premier League matches.

Despite his recent form and the ability Arsenal supporters have always known he has had at his disposal, Martinelli is valued at just €15million (£12.6m), according to CIES Football Observatory.

This might be his value, but if any club offered such a figure for his services, then Arsenal would surely laugh them off as the forward continues to belie his price tag.

With Martinelli’s recent form, it goes some way in proving Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand right – who, back in January 2020 – waxed lyrical about the Arsenal attacker.

Speaking on Instagram, the former England defender said: “To be 18-years-old, doing what he’s doing; the goal against Chelsea alone, he runs from the edge of his box – a set-piece against his team – he takes it to the other end.

“Normally, your legs are gone by then, you’ve got no energy and no juice in your legs, but he has the composure to slot it.

“Great player, but the awareness of the way he plays, the way he moves on the pitch, the intelligence to receive the ball, the positions he takes up.”

Martinelli will be hoping to continue his superb form for Arsenal when they make the trip to Norwich City in the Premier League on Boxing Day.

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