Mikel Arteta is delighted with Marquinhos' start to his Gunners career, as our Brazilian teenager picked up a Golden Boy nomination.
Awarded by the Italian newspaper Tuttosport, the Golden Boy title is one of the most impressive recognitions bestowed upon young footballers. Marquinhos is one of 40 players on the shortlist, which also comprises Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, and Harvey Elliott. Previous winners include Pedri, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
Speaking for the first time since our victory over FC Zurich in the Europa League group stage, Arteta praised the Brazilian's impact so far. Marquinhos, who signed from Sao Paulo in the summer, marked his first-team debut with a goal and an assist to ensure our European campaign got off to a winning start in Switzerland.
The winger was visibly emotional after breaking the deadlock last Thursday, and Mikel said his joy was shared by the rest of the squad.
“I was looking more at the faces of the rest of the staff and players (when he scored).
“He’s very popular, with no English, just with his smile and attitude. He has earned the respect and admiration of everybody here.
“It was a big step for him because he hasn’t played enough minutes with us but we were willing to give him the opportunity. I think he deserved it, I think he took it really well and he’s a player that needs to keep developing and in order to do that we need to give him opportunities.”
Marquinhos had to be patient before making his debut, but with nine games scheduled next month, the boss said more chances will be forthcoming for the 19-year-old.
“We want to build the steps and when we have asked him to play with the under-21s he’s done incredibly well.
“The attitude with every coach and player has been seen as ‘it can’t be any better’. That’s what we expect from the players so that’s why he got his chance against Zurich and he might get another chance very soon.”
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