Oleksandr Zinchenko hails Arsenal’s “special one” – “he’s unbelievable”

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Arsenal new-boy Oleksandr Zinchenko has heaped praise on teammate Gabriel Martinelli after the Brazilian’s impressive start to the season.

Martinelli has been made to work for a starting spot under Mikel Arteta, with the manager accepting in March 2021 that it was his own fault the Brazilian hadn’t earned more minutes. The 21-year-old has had a big part to play this season, though, scoring in each of the first two games of the season before delivering a winner against Aston Villa in midweek.

The strike ensured Arsenal have a 100% record going into their weekend game against Manchester United, who are themselves coming off a third straight victory. And Zinchenko, who missed the last two games through injury, has showered his colleague in praise.

“Honestly I wasn’t surprised much because I knew the quality of the players here but obviously if you want me to choose one, because obviously I know Gabriel Jesus for a while and we don’t count him, I think Gabriel Martinelli,” Zinchenko said when asked about the teammate who has surprised him the most (via Metro ).

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“He is the special one. From the first days when I’ve seen his footwork and his attitude and the way he works. Honestly, this guy if he is going to keep going, remember his name. He’s unbelievable.”

Zinchenko’s comments come after praise from Jesus earlier in the season. Like the Ukrainian, arrived from Manchester City this summer after working with Mikel Arteta at the club.

“That’s the mentality we need to have the whole season but also next season and in the future,” Martinelli said after Arsenal’s midweek win “We need to do this and keep winning the games.

“It was a tough game. We knew that, but I think we deserved the win and we played well. The most important thing is the three points – and we got them.

“I’m feeling great [but it’s] not just me, I think the whole team, the staff, the fans – everyone is happy today. We are trying to win every single game. [We go] game by game and that’s the mentality we need to have.”

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Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Old Trafford, and a chance to gain revenge for last season’s defeat away to Manchester United. Emile Smith Rowe put the Gunners ahead in the corresponding game in December 2021, with Martin Odegaard also on target, but one goal from Bruno Fernandes and two from Cristiano Ronaldo gave the hosts all three points.

The hosts go into the game chasing back-to-back home victories, having beaten Liverpool on August 22. They’re also after a fourth win on the bounce, after overcoming Southampton and Leicester City in their last two away outings.

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