Rio Ferdinand praises Gabriel Martinelli and explains "mad" Bukayo Saka link-up
Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Arsenal starlet Gabriell Martinelli and outlined why he is such a threat when playing alongside Bukayo Saka.
Martinelli burst onto the scene last season, making his Gunners debut in August 2019 and going on to feature a further 25 times across all competitions.
The 19-year-old was particularly impressive in the cup competitions and grabbed seven goals in 12 appearances in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Though Martinelli is yet to feature this season after he suffered a serious knee injury in training in June, he has already made a big impression on a number of onlookers.
The young striker has also caught the attention of Ferdinand, who lavished him with praise when asked to make a comparison with Manchester United star Mason Greenwood on his Instagram page.
Ferdinand said: "To be 18-years-old, doing what he's doing; the goal against Chelsea alone, he runs from the edge of his box – a set-piece against his team – he takes it to the other end.
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"Normally, your legs are gone by then, you've got no energy and no juice in your legs, but he has the composure to slot it.
"Great player, but the awareness of the way he plays, the way he moves on the pitch, the intelligence to receive the ball, the positions he takes up."
Ferdinand also explained how Martinelli and fellow Arsenal youngster Saka complement each other with their movement.
The former England defender added: "He (Martinelli) comes inside at the right time to allow Saka to have space on the outside and ask the opposing full-backs the questions; 'Are you gonna come inside with me, or are you gonna stay with Saka?'.
"It's mad. He's a mature player for such a young kid."
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