Charlie Nicholas has warned Arsenal not to put too much pressure on their upcoming star Gabriel Martinelli, who he is tipping for a big future at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners signed the Brazilian attacker last summer for £6million (Telegraph) and he’s hit the ground running during his first season in English football.
Despite being signed as a future prospect, the 18-year-old has quickly made himself an important first-team player for the North London club and is very popular with supporters.
The forward is a centre-forward by trade that is a real threat through the middle, but he’s also shown his versatility by filling in out wide too and he looks a goal threat whenever he plays.
Martinelli has managed 10 goals in just 26 senior games this campaign across all competitions.
Sky Sports pundit Nicholas is extremely excited about Martinelli’s future, but doesn’t believe Arsenal should become over-reliant on him so early in his career.
“I’m a big fan of Martinelli in particular. I think he’s got a great attitude and a wonderful eye for goal as we’ve seen on a number of occasions already,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“There’s definitely a lot to come from him but you have to be careful you don’t put too much responsibility on young shoulders.”
There is no doubt that Arsenal’s £6million deal for Martinelli looks like a genius piece of business and perhaps one they will look back on in future years as a significant one, but it’s true that the teenager shouldn’t be made the talisman just yet.
He is mature beyond his years with his movement and composure in front of goal, which is why there is so much excitement about him.
The South American forward can definitely play a key role under manager Mikel Arteta, but learning from senior forwards like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will be crucial for his development.