Gabriel Martinelli opens up on failed Manchester United transfer
Gabriel Martinelli has enjoyed a stellar first season in England. The 18-year-old has scored 10 goals and four assists in 26 appearances in a memorable introduction to European football.
He could have been doing so in the Manchester United colours had things gone differently. According to FourFour Two (h/t The Metro), Martinelli has revealed that the Red Devils failed to make him an offer in spite of taking him on trial for four years.
United have an association with Martinelli’s previous club, Ituano. They were aware of the promise the player showed from as far ago as 2014, the year when they first took him on trial, as per The Metro.
The striker would return on trial for the next three years as well, spending up to a fortnight at Old Trafford. United, however, decided against making a move and the youngster ended up joining Arsenal for a paltry £6million in 2019.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and United’s loss has turned out to be Arsenal’s gain. Martinelli has been a shining beacon of light in what has become a largely disappointing season for the Gunners.
Speaking of his experiences, Martinelli confirmed that he indeed did make it to Old Trafford multiple times when at Ituano. He found the experience to be extremely helpful as it gave him his first taste of English football.
The youngster also got a chance to meet with a number of United stars such as Marouane Fellaini, Patrice Evra, and Paul Pogba. All of whom he ended up taking pictures with.
‘They didn’t make an offer, so I returned to Ituano and kept doing my job there.’
Not alone to lack hindsight
United are however not alone in their miscalculation. Barcelona also decided to pass on the player after taking him on trial in 2018. Unlike at United, Martinelli never met any of Barcelona’s stars.
“I was really impressed with the facilities at these big clubs: the size of the gym, the number of pitches”
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Martinelli was called up by Brazilian manager Tite for preparatory training prior to his nation’s successful Copa America 2019 campaign. He has since gone on to make two appearances for the Brazil Under-23 side.