The Brazilian attacker is one of the chief architects of the brilliant season Arsenal are having, which could end up with the club winning their first Premier League title in almost two decades.


Martinelli was signed from then-Brazilian fourth division club Ituano in the summer of 2019 when he was still 18.



Cagigao played a massive part in identifying the player for the Gunners then when he was their head scout and admitted that several big clubs missed the potential Martinelli showed.


The former Arsenal head scout takes credit for getting the Brazilian and stressed that his work ethic and talent stood out even that early in his career.



He conceded that he is surprised that it took Martinelli a little longer to really stand out from his peers at the Emirates.


Cagigao told Spanish sports daily Marca: “I and my team had seen him from an early age.



“The truth is that we accept that the boy could have signed for other clubs at the time but those clubs decided that he was not a potentially top footballer.


“I decided and I made the decision to take him.


“Raul Sanllehi was there at the time and I told him to sign him. We invested, I think at that time it was $6m (€7m).


“He was a player from the Brazilian fourth division and over time, it has been clear that was a wise decision.


“We were very clear about the boy as he has a work ethic and great ability for modern football.


“The only thing that surprised me is that it took him a little longer to stand out. It is difficult to find footballers of that mentality.”


Martinelli has managed to find the back of the net seven times in 19 Premier League appearances in the ongoing campaign.