Crystal Palace have been regularly mentioned as potential suitors for 17-year-old Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli but according to reports from abroad, it looks as though Arsenal are now hot favourites to land him.
The Eagles are believed to one of around 25 clubs interested in signing the youngster but it seems as though Unai Emery’s Gunners are in pole position, having done a great deal of the groundwork already.
Martinelli is known to have spent time on trial with both Manchester United and Barcelona before heading back to his native Brazil and despite plenty of interest from his home country’s biggest clubs, his agent seems set on the teenager making the move across the Atlantic to ply his trade in the European game.
It’s difficult for English fans to gain any real grasp on Martinelli’s potential with such little evidence to go on but there’s no doubt that the buzz surrounding him is extreme. If his heart is indeed set on a move to Europe and England in particular, I’m sure Arsenal will occupy a place ahead of us in the pecking order, should they wish to.
The other factor worth remembering in instances such as this, is that Palace, for whom Premier League survival is paramount, are unlikely to throw youngsters into the side ahead of fit and healthy, established Premier League regulars. It sounds ridiculous given our lesser squad depth but the last couple of years have proven that the likes of Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew would all far rather stick with tried and tested professionals over a teenager who will take some time to bed in.
I personally feel as though we as a club are cutting our noses off to spite our face given the impact that Aaron Wan-Bissaka made when thrown in through necessity rather than choice but I am not on the training ground day after day with the players. Either way, it now looks as though we’ll be beaten to the punch on Martinelli; let’s just hope he doesn’t embark on a Premier League career which involves regularly scoring against us in red and white.