Granit Xhaka says he’s been impressed with new signing Marquinhos and predicts the 19-year-old has a ‘big future’.
When the Gunners signed the Brazilian from Sao Paulo earlier in the summer, Edu was quick to stress his compatriot was ‘a player for the future’, however, he’s since been integrated into the first team rather than the under-23s and seems set to be an off-the-bench option from the get-go.
To further excite supporters, Xhaka sees similarities between Marquinhos and another Brazilian.
In an interview with the official matchday programme ahead of the weekend’s 6-0 drubbing of Sevilla, the Swiss explained:
“He reminds me of Gabi Martinelli when he first came, everyone was saying ‘yeah he will go to the under-23s first’ and stuff like this, but how Gabi adapted at this level was unbelievable, and I have the same feeling with Marquinhos as well.
“For his age he is very developed physically, very fast, good left foot. Of course, he needs to adapt to this level first, this country as well, but I see a big future for this guy.”
If Marquinhos has a big future, for fellow new boy Gabriel Jesus it’s all about making an impact in the present. After a few weeks training with the striker, Xhaka is already a convert.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “First of all I love his attitude, his hunger to achieve something, to win something.
“He’s come from a team who have already won everything, and he gives us the hunger, the belief and the quality. But as well he’s a very humble guy. Very open, you can be serious with him, you can joke with him. This is what we need at this football club.
He added: “He’s a very high-quality player, very quick, very sharp. He’s not scared to go in for a 50-50 ball. With him and Eddie now up front we have two guys who can be very dangerous for the opponent. He’s scored already in the friendlies, hopefully he can keep doing that.”