Arsenal starlet Gabriel Martinelli has revealed that he underwent four trials with Manchester United in his formative years but ultimately the English giants decided against signing him after the trial. Martinelli joined Arsenal from Brazilian club Ituano in summer 2019 for a fee of £6 million.
Gabriel Martinelli joined Arsenal as a touted youth prospect and has since emerged as one of the most talented young players in Europe. The Brazilian forward has already made 70 appearances for the Gunners across all competitions while scoring 16 goals and providing nine assists.
A serious knee injury and several recurrent injuries had stalled the Brazilian’s career but increased gametime over the past few weeks, combined with the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has placed more responsibilities on his young shoulders.
The 20-year-old has now firmly established himself as a regular starter under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium and has featured prominently during the club’s good run of form as they look to be within touching distance of a Champions League qualifying place.
Martinelli revealed that things could have panned out differently if Premier League rivals Manchester United decided to sign him after he underwent several trials at the club.
"I actually had four different trials at United when I was 13, 14, 15 and 16. This was in Manchester at the club’s training base, where I played in the same age group as Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams and I met first-team players, like Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra,” Martinelli told The Athletic.
“There was never a moment, though, when they said they wanted me [to sign] there. But it give me a taste and made the adaptation a little easier because I had experienced football in England. Even after those trials, I always believed in myself. My mind is always thinking, ‘I can do it',” he added.