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Freddie Ljungberg excited about ‘special’ Arsenal forward

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Former Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg praised Gabriel Martinelli after their win over Crystal Palace (BT Sport, via Metro).

The Brazilian came on as a substitute and scored the crucial second goal in the 91st minute. Nicolas Pepe soon added to that and secured a 3-1 win for the Gunners.

Speaking after the game, Martinelli’s performance was something that attracted the Swede’s attention.

“He’s very special, and he’s a lovely boy as well,” he said. “You hear how he speaks – of course, he’s disappointed he’s not starting – it’s been a while.

“He does so well, but he’s saying I’m always ready when he wants me, and it’s a dream for a manager to have. He has that instinct – he just gets there, and he reads it so well.

“It’s not what you learn in a book. He has that feeling, and he will score a lot of goals in his career.”

Ljungberg also spoke about the player’s future.

“I’m extremely excited about him – he’s not what you see every day – he has that feeling when he goes, and something different happens,” he added.

“He’ll score more goals than you maybe think he will score, and I remember last season, great headers, and there were all kinds of goals from him – it’s more about his intuition and where he wants to be and they [fans] should be excited.”

SL View

After starting the game on the bench, the 19-year-old showed why he deserves a starting spot. The substitute was a bundle of energy, and his direct playing style threatened the Palace defence.

The forward was sharper than anyone else when he gave the north Londoners the lead. Reacting to a pass from Martin Odegaard, Martinelli got to the ball first and even after it had bounced high, kept calm to slot it in the back of the net.

The Brazilian has struggled with injuries in the first half of the season. However, since the beginning of 2021, the youngster has slowly become more of a regular presence in the first team.

The forward is likely to get more game time from next season after his impressive displays over the past couple of months.

Arsenal will be excited to have a special talent like Martinelli as there is plenty more to come from him in the future.

Read: Premier League 2020/21 Week 37 – EPL Results & Table.