Who is Marquinhos? Arsenal’s newest signing hoping to follow in Gabriel Martinelli’s footsteps

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal have completed their first signing of the summer by bringing in Brazilian teenager Marquinhos.

Gunners fans had been hoping that another Brazilian would be the first player through the door, given their long-term interest in Gabriel Jesus, but Marquinhos is still an exciting arrival.

The 19-year-old is viewed as one for the future and will hope to replicate Gabriel Martinelli’s rapid rise since he moved to England.

Little is known about Marquinhos at the moment, but the winger will hope that changes over the course of the next few years.

Here, Standard Sport takes a look at what Arsenal have got after splashing out £3million on their latest signing…

Who is Marquinhos?

The 19-year-old is Arsenal’s first signing of the summer and arrives in north London with a growing reputation.

Marquinhos joined Sao Paulo’s academy at the age of eight and progressed through the club’s youth teams before breaking into the first XI.

At youth level, the winger enjoyed great success and won nine trophies during that time. He was also called up to represent Brazil at under-15 and under-17 level.

Marquinhos’ talent saw him promoted to Sao Paulo’s first team last year after he caught the eye of their coaching staff.

He operated on either flank for the first team and scored four goals in 42 games. Sao Paulo wanted him to stay, but were powerless when clubs from Europe came calling.

What type of player is he?

Marquinhos is a left-footed forward who can operate on either flank. He has often been used on the right, allowing him to cut in and shoot.

Sao Paulo manager Rogerio Ceni had been in the market for a winger over the past year, but with limited transfer funds he turned to the academy.

It is reported that Sao Paulo were keen on Brazil winger Douglas Costa, who used to play for Bayern Munich and Juventus, so that gives an indication of the type of player Marquinhos is.

Ceni was a fan of Marquinhos’ pace, which is his main attribute, and he was given a chance despite staff admitting his talent was raw and needed developing.

Quick and powerful, the teenager looks suited to the speed of the English game but, like Martinelli, he will need to bulk up even more.

Despite being young, Ceni was impressed with Marquinhos’ tactical work and he was occasionally asked to operate through the middle.

Who else wanted to sign him?

The most high-profile interest from elsewhere came in the form of Wolves.

News of their interest first surfaced in Brazil, where reports claimed they were ready to become embroiled in a legal battle with Arsenal.

It was reported Wolves already had a pre-contract agreement with the player before Sao Paulo agreed to sell him to the Gunners.

It was claimed Marquinhos had signed a five-year contract with Sao Paulo in 2019, when he was 16, but FIFA rules only allow players of that age to pen three-year deals. That would make the winger a free agent this summer, hence Wolves' interest.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Talk of a legal battle has cooled and Arsenal announcing the player signing would appear to mean any case is not happening.

There had been other interest as well as Wolves, though, with Atletico Madrid scouts understood to have watched Marquinhos.

What will his role at Arsenal be?

The current plan for Marquinhos is for him to link up with Arsenal for pre-season and be part of their tour to the USA. That will allow Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff the chance to see close up whether or not the teenager is ready for English football.

Arsenal took the same stance with Martinelli when they plucked him from Brazil in the summer of 2019. Originally it was thought the forward would need to go out on loan, but he impressed so much in pre-season that he stayed put.

Given that Arsenal have Carabao Cup and Europa League games during the first half of next season, Marquinhos could stay for those and then go on loan in January.

Quick and powerful, the teenager looks suited to the speed of the English game but, like Martinelli, he will need to bulk up even more

What others have said

Arsenal technical director Edu said: “We’re delighted to have completed the transfer with Sao Paulo, as Marquinhos was a player we had been watching for a while.

“At 19, he is still very young, so he is a player for the future. We look forward to Marquinhos now joining us for pre-season, making his new home, and continuing to grow and develop with us.”

Sao Paulo manager Rogerio Ceni: “Marquinhos is a great boy, good to work with every day. Mainly he needs to improve his final decision making. He's a player who has strength, pace, that’s what he really has.

“There is a very large margin for evolution, he is young, he will need to mature, try to evolve every day.”

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