Middlesbrough had the chance to sign Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli before he arrived in England, according to 90min.com journalist Graeme Bailey.
Boro legend Juninho is believed to have “recommended” the forward when he was still at his previous team Ituano:
“Gabriel Martinelli was signed from Ituano, the club that Juninho used to run before he took charge of the Brazilian national team. Heartbreakingly, he was recommended to Middlesbrough at some point.”
It is surprising to hear that the Teessiders actually had the opportunity to secure Martinelli’s signature. He was a revelation as soon as he arrived in England, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp quickly labelling him the “talent of century” after a standout performance against the Reds in the Carabao Cup back in 2019.
Since then, he has gone on to establish himself as a regular starter for Arsenal, having racked up 20 appearances this season already, scoring five goals and contributing two assists. His excellent form also led to him being called up for the World Cup, and he featured as a substitute in three of Brazil’s five matches at the tournament.