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The Lowdown On Marquinhos: What Type Of Player He Is, Where He'll Fit In And What To Expect

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The Lowdown On Marquinhos: What Type Of Player He Is, Where He'll Fit In And What To Expect

Arsenal have confirmed their first signing of the summer, Brazilian prodigy Marquinhos from São Paulo. 

The Gunners have been endeavouring to build their connections in Brazil following the success of Gabriel Martinelli, with senior officials at London Colney seeing the South American market as a treasure trove of potential talent. 

The 19-year-old was signed with a view to the future, for a fee believed to be around £3 million. However, many who pushed for the signing of the young Brazilian will be hoping he can force his way into Mikel Arteta’s immediate thinking, particularly with the condensed schedule ahead of the World Cup in Qatar this winter. 

Operating fluently on both flanks, the Brazilian’s game is oriented around driving past opponents. Despite his short frame (175cm), the winger’s long strides around him to create distance between himself and his opponent over small distances.

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In fig 1-3, the Brazilian uses that explosive pace over short distances to steam away from multiple opposition players. In addition to this explosiveness there’s a directness, a deep-rooted hunger to drive towards goal, which he duly does, piercing into the penalty area before caressing the ball into the far corner. 

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Of course, the leap in quality from Brazil to the Premier League is stark, however, the fearlessness and natural physical qualities will serve him well as he takes the journey to a new continent at a tender age. 

When operating on the right, Marquinhos is comfortable both hugging the touchline and drifting further inward towards the right half-space, where he has operated to devastating effect.

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Squaring up the defender, he is encouraged down the line onto his weaker foot. Despite this, once again using his explosive speed over short distance, the 19-year-old drops the shoulder and cuts inside, rifling an effort from the edge of the area into the back of the net. 

The Gunners faithful have grown used to a certain left-footed right winger cutting in from that right half-space this season, so if Marquinhos is able to make the step-up to the elite level of professional football quickly, then Arteta will have a capable deputy to Bukayo Saka, his crown jewel. 

An aspect of his game the youngster does currently lack the ambipedal nature to take his game to the next level, often reliant on his left foot in situations he would be better served utilising his weaker foot. However, being so young, he has plenty of time to address that, both through personal endeavours and the top tier coaching he will receive at London Colney. 

Despite predominantly operating from the right, Marquinhos is also capable of playing off the left flank, as a touchline winger.

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A hallmark of the talented Brazilian’s game is his footwork in accordance with that aforementioned explosive pace. When working off the left flank, he squares up the opposition fullback, going on the outside before delivering the ball on a six-pence to an oncoming forward who lashes it in off the bar. 

This versatility, the comfort and confidence of trusting your talents irrespective of where you are on the pitch is core principle Arteta believes in, having players who can operate at a high-level in multiple positions. 

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That said, whilst the talent is there, the talent is raw, a diamond in the rough awaiting a transformative polish. The Gunners intend to give Marquinhos pre-season to express himself, to hone in on the existing talent, before deciding whether a loan move would best suit the youngster at this stage in his career. 

Arteta and co. will be hopeful that the Brazilian follows a similar route to that of Martinelli, which one be a much welcome bonus if it were to happen, allowing Bukayo Saka to rest in a chaotic schedule leading up to the World Cup. 

In paying £3 million, a sum the club didn’t need to pay with the 19-year-old becoming a free agent this summer, Arsenal technical director Edu is seeking to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between Sao Paulo and the Gunners. The aim for Arsenal is that in receiving first refusal on up and coming talent playing at the Cícero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium, the club will stay ahead in an ever evolving South American market. 

As for Marquinhos, time will tell whether the youngster forged in the streets of Sao Paulo, journeying to foreign lands will paint upon the Emirates canvas next season. The Brazilian’s talents may be best displayed long term, but nonetheless, a diamond in the rough has been unearthed.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Arsenal

Topics: Arsenal, Transfers, Mikel Arteta, Bukayo Saka

Jake Lennard
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