‘I’m extremely excited’ – Freddie Ljungberg lauds Arsenal’s ‘very special’ Gabriel Martinelli

Martinelli bagged his second goal of the season
Martinelli bagged his second goal of the season (Picture: Getty Images)

Freddie Ljungberg says he is ‘extremely excited’ about Gabriel Martinelli after the teenager’s vital goal helped fire Arsenal to a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Nicolas Pepe had opened the scoring for the Gunners in the first half before Christian Benteke’s diving header earned the Eagles an equaliser.

It was second-half substitute Martinelli who made a decisive contribution when he brought down Martin Odegaard’s cross in the box and found the back the back of the net.

Arteta has a 'very special' player in his ranks, says Ljungberg
Arteta has a ‘very special’ player in his ranks, says Ljungberg (Picture: Getty Images)

Martinelli has had to settle for a role on the bench for large parts of the season season, and after the win against Palace, he told Mikel Arteta that he is ‘always ready’ to contribute.

Ljungberg, who worked with Martinelli during his spell as Arsenal assistant, and then interim manager, lavished praise on the Brazilian and backed him to score plenty more goals in his career.

‘He’s very special and he’s a lovely boy as well,’ ex-Arsenal winger Ljungberg told BT Sport.

‘You hear how he speaks, of course he’s disappointed he’s not starting, it’s been a while.

‘He does so well but he’s saying I’m always ready when he wants me and it’s a dream for a manager to have. 

‘He has that instinct, he just gets there and he reads it so well. It’s not what you learn in a book. He has that feeling and he will score a lot of goals in his career.’

‘I’m extremely excited about him, he’s not what you see every day, he has that feeling when he goes and something different happens,’ he added.

‘He’ll score more goals than you maybe think he will score and I remember last season, great headers, and there were all kinds of goals from him it’s more about his intuition and where he wants to be and they [fans] should be excited.’

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