Marquinhos says he’s hoping to use the upcoming CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament as a springboard as he looks to get his Arsenal career back on track after underwhelming spells at Norwich and Nantes.
The Gunners confirmed on Friday that the 20-year-old winger had been prematurely recalled from his season-long loan with Nantes and will be allowed to travel to Venezuela where he’ll play for Brazil’s under-23s.
This will be the second time this season that Marquinhos has returned to South America for an international tournament. He was also part of the Brazil squad that won gold in Chile at the Pan-American Games in November, an event that forced him to miss three weeks of action for Nantes.
Signed as ‘one for the future’ in the summer of 2022, Marquinhos was a bright spark on his debut in the Europa League – he scored and assisted in a 2-1 win over FC Zurich – but hasn’t been able to maintain those standards.
While it doesn’t look like he’ll be loaned out again this season, it’ll still take a huge turnaround in fortunes for him to get minutes in Mikel Arteta’s first team. However, with the Paris 2024 Olympics on the horizon, he at least has something else to aim for.
“I’m very focused on having a great Pre-Olympic [tournament], to return to Arsenal confident, to continue the work there, and God willing, to be at the next Olympics,” he told Globo Esporte (translated by Sport Witness).
He added: “It’s always very special to wear the shirt of the national team, I think every player has to have that desire to wear the heaviest shirt in the world.
“I spoke to the coach, the president, about my desire to wear the national team shirt, about my dream of qualifying for the next Olympics and being there. I positioned myself within the club so that I could be here and defend Brazil.”
If Marquinhos does get the nod for the Olympics he’ll miss Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the USA. Presumably, the club won’t make a decision on the player’s long-term future until the competition is over, perhaps hoping the international platform lures in a few suitors.