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‘United trials helped Martinelli to succeed at Arsenal’ says Gunners scout

One of the scouts that recommended Arsenal sign Gabriel Martinelli says the player’s adaption to life in England has been helped by previous trials with Manchester United.

The Brazilian trained with United aged 14 and 16 but the club elected not to sign him. Martinelli has been a revelation since joining Arsenal from Ituano last summer.

Scout Jonathan Vidalle told the Arsenal en America podcast, “When Cagigao [Arsenal’s chief scout] went to Brazil, he finished the job of getting to know the player, the parents, and then Corinthians, Santos and the top European clubs wanted him.

“We studied his environment, his life, his parents, why he played in the fourth tier, and those things are important. It helped us that he went for two trials at United, it mentally prepared him.

“He went to Manchester at 14 and at 16, he had already been working and knew his conditions. The objective of any player, in addition to playing in the first division of his team, is to go and play in Europe.

“Logically he was already studying English and the parents made very good decisions and were well advised.” Vidalle downplayed the role of Arsenal’s Technical Director Edu Gaspar, who is also Brazilian, in the signing.

“Edu at that time was not part of the Arsenal structure. Obviously I knew him, he worked in Corinthians and in the Brazil national team, surely he had him on the radar, but in this case we started with Everton and then Cagigao convinced himself when he saw him live.”

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