Jurgen Klopp has again spoken glowingly of Arsenal youngster Gabriel Martinelli just over two years after hailing him as a “talent of the century.”
Klopp’s Liverpool defeated Arsenal 2-0 in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Thursday night. A brace from Diogo Jota helped the Reds march on to Wembley, where they will face Chelsea in the final at the end of February.
Martinelli was one of the only star performers for an Arsenal side who struggled on their return to competitive action after having last week’s north London derby postponed due to a lack of available players.
Speaking in his post match press conference, Klopp was asked his thoughts on facing Chelsea in the final, but instead focused on Arsenal’s number 35.
“Martinelli by the way…everybody should remember that name. Outstanding player,” he said.
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Klopp’s appreciation for Martinelli dates back to the Brazilian’s maiden campaign with the Gunners. Arsenal faced Liverpool in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup two seasons ago, with Martinelli grabbing a brace in a 5-5 draw.
Speaking after that tie – which Liverpool won on penalties – Klopp praised his youthful Reds side, but insisted they found it tough against a youngster as talented as Martinelli.
“[Sepp] Van den Berg played an incredible game. That’s really difficult to deal with these guys. Martinelli’s pretty much the same age but he’s a talent of the century, he’s an incredible striker, so it’s really difficult,” Klopp gushed at the time.
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