Gabriel Martinelli can secure his dream shirt number next season if Arsenal seal £6.6m transfer


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been offered an escape route from Arsenal.

As reported by CBS Soccer, the Gunners have received an offer from Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr to take the 32-year-old on loan for the remainder of the season.

Furthermore, the report states that Al Nassr would then be obliged to sign Aubameyang permanently for a fee in the region of €8 million which is roughly £6.6 million.

Since being stripped of the captaincy for another disciplinary issue at the beginning of December, the striker did not figure into Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta ‘s plans prior to departing for Africa of Cup Nations earlier in the month.

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And whilst Aubameyang is back in London after being sent home early from AFCON for a medical issue, how long he remains an Arsenal player will be up to technical director Edu and the club’s hierarchy.

It’s claimed that whilst the club are ready to part ways with the former Borussia Dortmund striker, they are yet to respond to the aforementioned offer.

As the deal includes a mandatory option for Al Nassr to sign Aubameyang permanently at the end of the season, should Arsenal accept the offer it means his shirt number will become vacant.

Cue a mad dash to follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry, Theo Walcott and Martin Keown who all wore the no.14 shirt for the Gunners in the Premier League – one more convincingly than the rest.

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Although it would appear that Gabriel Martinelli has already thrown his hat into the ring.

The Brazilian wonderkid has worn no.35 since arriving at Arsenal in the summer of 2019 and it’s a rather low squad number for a first-team player – although Granit Xhaka would argue.

Gabriel Martinelli currently wears no.35 for Arsenal. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Gabriel Martinelli currently wears no.35 for Arsenal. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

But having already hinted at wanting to emulate Aubameyang, the 20-year-old could soon inherit a rather iconic shirt number.

“I want to follow into Aubameyang’s footsteps, he’s a captain, he wears the number 14 shirt,” Martinelli told ESPN. “That is a symbol for this club and of course, I hope to be very successful at Arsenal.”

At the time of this interview, it appeared Martinelli would have to wait at least a couple of years before upgrading his shirt number from 35 to 14.

This is because Aubameyang only signed a three-year deal back in the summer of 2020 and no one could have predicted the sequence of events that has led to him being frozen out of the first-team picture and with perhaps one foot out of the door.

With that said, it remains to be seen if the Gunners accept Al Nassr’s offer and if the Gabonese striker is willing to move to Saudi Arabia.

In the event that all parties can reach an agreement, Martinelli stands to benefit as he would be one step closer to securing his dream Arsenal shirt number three years on from arriving at the club.

Source by Football London

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