Rio Ferdinand believes Gabriel Martinelli will be a ‘top player’ so long as he stays fit and is excited about the blossoming relationship between him and Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka.
Martinelli’s return to action gave Mikel Arteta’s side a big lift as they beat Chelsea 3-1 on Boxing Day, ending a run of five games without a win in all competitions.
Ferdinand admitted he was surprised by the manner of Arsenal’s victory – a win that eased fears over them being dragged into a relegation battle – and singled out Martinelli for special praise for his involvement.
He is convinced ‘tremendous’ Martinelli will go on to big things and predicts that his link-up with Saka will become ‘scary’.
‘I didn’t see Arsenal getting a result at all,’ Ferdinand told FIVE. ‘I didn’t think Arsenal had enough.
‘Aubameyang not in form, not playing. But what I will say… I watched Martinelli at Bournemouth away last season – him and Saka together.
‘They have a link up, they have a relationship that’s already there that I think in years to come will be a scary relationship.
‘They work so well together, and Tierney as well on that left-hand side backing it up.
‘But Martinelli, I have to say is going to be a tremendous footballer. Top player.
‘He’s come back into this team and he is showing what all the fuss was about before.
‘Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge – remember that goal? Running the length of the pitch, bang, goal. Cool as you like.
‘He is going to be a huge, huge player. Massive talent. And I just hope he can stay fit, that’s all he needs. He’s been injured.’
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