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'Will stay with me forever': Martinelli recalls what Aubameyang did after he'd just joined Arsenal from Ituano
Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

'Will stay with me forever': Martinelli recalls what Aubameyang did after he'd just joined Arsenal from Ituano

Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has spoken about his early days at the Emirates Stadium, in conversation with The Players’ Tribune.

The Gunners forward recalled how he was shy – “embarrassed”, even – around the club shortly after arriving from Ituano.

Arsenal brought Martinelli to North London as an 18-year-old in back in 2019.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

The Brazilian dazzled in his maiden Gunners season, becoming the first teenager to register a double-figure goal tally since Nicolas Anelka.

Martinelli then stopped playing regularly for a while, but this year, he has well and truly become a first-teamer.

The 21-year-old has been so impressive that Brazil coach Tite named him in his squad for the World Cup.

This has led to plenty of media attention, with plenty of outlets eager to know more about Martinelli.

The Arsenal gem also shared an anecdote where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made a great impression on him.

“When I had just arrived, I went to lunch,” began Martinelli. “You arrive, you have players like Ozil, Auba, Laca and Leno.

“There were big name players only, that everyone follows, everyone likes, you are kind of…

“When you arrive from Brazil, everyone… Especially I, I’m very shy and I don’t talk much.

“With people I already know, I’m more open, I’m more myself, but when you arrive in a place like this it’s more difficult.

‘Maybe he doesn’t even remember this’

“I remember that I went to lunch, there was, for example, where I was afraid, because I didn’t speak English.

“I’d think: “Imagine if someone sat next to me and talked to me, what would I say?”

“I was even embarrassed, because the person talks, you want to talk, but you can’t. There was no-one there.

“I sat down to eat, I said: “Great, eat calmly here”. Then Auba arrived soon, I thought “now what?”

“Then he sat next to me and started talking to me in Spanish.

Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

“A good guy, I think that moment was… I was very nervous, when I saw him, I thought: “Wow, he’s going to sit next to me, then I’ll finish eating and leave?”

“I thought: “I’d better eat normally, because otherwise he will see me.”

“Then he sat next to me and started talking to me.

“Like, for him it was something normal, maybe he doesn’t even remember this.

“But for me, arriving at the club now, Auba coming to talk to you, sitting at the table with you, it was something that will stay with me forever.”

Although Aubameyang ended up being offloaded by Mikel Arteta, it’s nice to hear Martinelli sing his praises.

When a player moves to a new club in a new country, it can be quite daunting, particularly at such a young age.

Therefore, it’s great to hear how Aubameyang helped Martinelli feel comfortable and settle in at the Emirates.

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