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Rio Ferdinand and Ronaldinho seem to agree over Arsenal youngster Gabriel Martinelli becoming a huge star in the future.
Against both Chelsea and Brighton, head coach Mikel Arteta named Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli in his starting line-ups, with the trio proving that they more than were worthy of their places.
And despite his impressive performances, Martinelli was in need of a breather, with the Brazilian sensation having recently returned from a long-term knee injury.
For former Manchester United and England defender Ferdinand, the 19-year-old is going to be one to watch for many years to come, as well as admitting that Arsenal’s upturn in fortunes has been as a result of the performances of the likes of Saka and Smith Rowe.
Speaking on YouTube channel FIVE, Ferdinand said: “Arsenal have really benefited from investing and believing in younger players.
“I think Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, they’ve been outstanding. Willock at times has come in and done stuff, same for Maitland-Niles.
“Without these young players coming in and holding the fort, with all that’s going on, I don’t know where Arsenal would be and the fans would be in the doldrums. Martinelli, for me, is the best one.”
Brazil legend Ronaldinho shares Ferdinand’s thoughts on the youngster, as he told the Mirror last season:
“We as Brazilians are very excited about him and his future. It is one thing to have the talent – but another at the age of 18 to have the confidence.
“He reminds me of Ronaldo his first season in Europe, he scored 30 goals and people were thinking: ‘who is this 18 year old Brazilian kid?’
“He wanted the ball, he would run at players, there was no fear no matter what players or team he was playing against – and I see that similar attitude in Martinelli.
“He just wants to be on the ball and score goals. Ronaldo went on to be the best player in the world – and that can also be the aim of Martinelli.”
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