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07-Mar-2020, 09:53 pm

Martinelli could miss start of Arsenal's 2020-21 season after being called up to Brazil's Olympic squad

Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli has been called up to Brazil's squad for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which could mean he will miss the start of the 2020-21 campaign with Arsenal.

Martinelli completed a ?6 million ($8m) move to Emirates Stadium from Brazilian outfit Ituano last summer, and has since emerged as one of the most talented prospects in European football.

The 18-year-old has hit 10 goals in 24 outings across all competitions despite having to make do with a bit-part role off the bench, with many fans and experts now tipping the forward for a bright future in North London.

Martinelli has proved a useful asset for the Gunners over the last few months, providing much-needed support for first-choice striking duo Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

He will now have the chance to line up for Brazil at the Olympics, having been officially named in the final squad for the summer tournament.

The Selecao announced the inclusion of Martinelli alongside Real Madrid pair Vinicius Junior and Reinier via Twitter on Friday.

There is now a strong possibility that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be without the teenager when he puts a team together for the start of the new Premier League season in August.

The Olympics will finish on the 9th, and the Gunners are due to play the day before, with Martinelli unlikely to be available again until September if Brazil make it all the way through to the final.

Martinelli is also eligible for Italy due to his father's heritage but he publicly stated that it is his "dream" to play for Brazil back in January.

Selecao boss Tite brought the young attacker into his training camp before the Copa America in 2019, but he is still yet to earn a first cap for his country.

Martinelli is currently preparing with the rest of the Arsenal squad for a crucial home fixture against West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

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