Arsenal have not been reluctant to splash out big sums of cash to bring new players to the north London club in recent years.

However, one man who the club signed for a fairly small fee and has gone on to become a star player for the Gunners is Gabriel Martinelli.

The Emirates Stadium outfit signed the Brazilian at the age of 18 from Ituano in his homeland three years ago in a deal worth £6m. Since then, the winger has gone on to make 92 senior appearances for the north London club across all competitions, scoring 21 goals and delivering 13 assists in the process.

Last season saw the 21-year-old score six goals and supply six assists in 29 league appearances, ending the campaign with the highest rate of goal-creating actions per 90 minutes (0.53) in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

Having started all seven of Arsenal’s league games so far this term, Martinelli has found the net on three occasions. In addition, the £90k-per-week Brazilian has made more key passes (17) than any of his team-mates and only has Gabriel Jesus (24) has taken more shots at goal than him (21).

Indeed, only Jesus (7.75/10) has a higher overall performance rating than his fellow countryman (7.48/10) among Arsenal’s squad in 2022/23, according to WhoScored.

Hailed as a “diamond” by team-mate Oleksandr Zinchenko, who also touted Martinelli to have an “unbelievable” future, the winger has truly cemented his place as one of Arteta’s most important players.

Taking all this into account, it’s safe to say that the north London club played a blinder by securing a deal for the young attacker in 2019 and giving him the time and space to develop into a first-team superstar.

This is also an example that it doesn’t always take a seismic amount of money to bring in a player who can be a crucial first-team figure.