Gabriel Martinelli should be high on Jurgen Klopp’s list to replace Sadio Mane at Liverpool.
As Mane reportedly prepares to depart Anfield, Liverpool are having to scour the football world for a suitable successor.
That’s certainly easier said than done. Owing to Mane’s supreme versatility and relentless goalscoring, he is going to be one tough act to follow.
There aren’t many who would be capable of doing it, but Martinelli should be viewed as one of them.
Klopp loves Martinelli
Liverpool’s recruitment in recent years has been absolutely bang on. Klopp doesn’t just sign any old players, whenever a signing is made, it’s always with a clear purpose.
It’s interesting to note then, that Jurgen has been full of praise for Martinelli on a number of occasions.
As quoted in Football.London, the Reds boss has publicly declared his admiration for the Brazilian more than once.
“Martinelli’s pretty much the same age (as Liverpool defender Sepp Van De Berg) but he’s a talent of the century, he’s an incredible striker, so it’s really difficult,” Klopp said of the then 18-year-old after a 5-5 draw against Arenal in 2019.
He followed that up with more praise when Liverpool met the Gunners last season.
“The boy Martinelli is such a talented boy, really tricky,” he said back in March.
Obviously Klopp recognises talent when he sees it, but does that mean that there would be genuine interest from Liverpool?
The perfect choice
The pros of signing Martinelli as Mane’s replacement are obvious. Firstly he’s still yet to turn twenty-one. At such a young age he’s already played 84 times for Arsenal and is a full Brazil international. There’s plenty of room to grow and plenty of potential to coach.
Secondly, he loves to play on the left and cut onto his right foot. Remind you of anyone?
It’s been claimed that Liverpool may look to bring in an out-and-out striker if Mane does move on this summer. That’s not a problem either, he’s happy cutting in-field and could surely be re-purposed as a central striker.
Obviously, the difficulty in bringing Martinelli to Anfield would be convincing Arsenal to sell him.
The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League next season which may give the player pause for thought if a club like Liverpool come in for him.
They would also stand to make a big profit on the reported £6m they paid to sign him in 2019. However, they would be loathe to strengthen a rival and may price that accordingly.
There’s no suggestion that Liverpool are currently seriously looking at Martinelli to replace Mane. But it’s hard to see why they shouldn’t be.