'I know how difficult the first year away is'

Emi Martinez knows exactly how Gabriel Martinelli feels.

The two have formed a strong friendship since the Brazilian's arrival in north London, partly due to Emi's ability to help with the language barrier.

But above all else, our Argentina international has walked a similar path to the one Gabriel treads now, having left his home country at the age of 18.

The pair sat down for a joint interview this week - and Emi was full of praise for our summer signing.

"He’s an incredible person," Emi said. "The day he signed, I didn’t know him, it’s true that I didn’t know him, but I know how difficult the first year [away from] South America is.

"I was the same age when I left South America and it’s very tough - the language, the climate. 

"I try to help him keep his feet on the ground because when you reach the level of playing for Arsenal, it’s very easy to get carried away, you know?

"That’s why I’m fond of him, he has a good family who keep him grounded and he has the talent and work ethic. 

"If he continues what he’s doing, he’ll be the best - he’ll get to the top."

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