Football

Gabriel Martinelli reveals talks with Freddie Ljungberg helped kick start his Arsenal career


Freddie Ljungberg handed Gabriel Martinelli his first Premier League start against West Ham (Picture: Getty)

Gabriel Martinelli believes the constant support of Freddie Ljungberg has played a key role in the outstanding start he has made to his Arsenal career.

The club legend celebrated the first win of his reign as interim head coach as the Gunners came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at the London Stadium last night.

Martinelli, signed from Brazilian club Ituano in the summer, had already caught the eye with seven goals in the Carabao Cup and Europa League this season, but the 18-year-old was handed his first Premier League start last night.

The Brazil Under-21 international rewarded his manager’s faith with the goal that drew Arsenal level after 60 minutes and revealed a pep talk from Ljungberg gave him the confidence to perform so capably against the Hammers.

‘I have to thank God and my family, who are always with me at all times,’ Martinelli told ESPN Brazil.

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‘Yesterday in training he talked to me and said that he wanted me to do my best, to continue the way I had been playing in the other games, and I was able to take the opportunity thanks to God, we managed to win and I was crowned with the goal.

‘I think my family being with me, supporting me at all times [helps]. My teammates, Freddie always supports me. So I think it helps a lot.

‘I think because I give a lot from myself all the time, I try to play for the team. So I think it’s been working, I’ll keep doing it.’

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