Gabriel Martinelli signs long-term Arsenal contract extension

Arteta lauds Martinelli after forward signs new contract (0:37)

Mikel Arteta is full of praise for Gabriel Martinelli after the young Brazilian signed a new contract keeping him at Arsenal until at least 2027. (0:37)

Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli has signed a long-term contract extension, the Premier League leaders said Friday.

The 21-year-old Brazil international has scored seven goals this season to boost Arsenal's title bid in his fourth season in north London.

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The club did not specify the length of the deal but manager Mikel Arteta called it "a new long-term contract."

"Gabi is still very young, so we know there's still much more to come from him and it's great that we'll be on this journey together," Arteta said in the club's announcement.

The forward has started all 19 league games this season. He has made 111 appearances in his Arsenal career since signing from Sao Paulo club Ituano in July 2019.

Arteta told a news conference on Friday that the extension was part of a concerted effort to tie down the young players who have impressed in the title run, including Bukayo Saka and William Saliba.

"Part of the plan is obviously to extend the contracts of our biggest talents and we are trying to do that. The others will be done whenever we can, if we can agree on that," he said.

Arsenal were forced to act in the transfer market following injuries in the squad and signed Jorginho from London rivals Chelsea on deadline day.

"We knew that in this market you have to adapt and be flexible and ready for inconvenience," Arteta said.

"We had a big one with Mo's [Elneny] injury and we needed a player in that position. It's a player that I've always admired.

"His intelligence, his personality and leadership skill, he understands our way of playing. He fits really well with what I want to do. You have to adapt to the circumstances you have and now we have improved the squad."

Arsenal have not won away at Goodison Park since 2017 and Arteta said he expects a tough test after Everton appointed Sean Dyche as their new manager.

"We have the experience in the last few years, how tough it's been and we didn't get the result we wanted. When it's a new manager the environment will change, a lot of things change," Arteta said.

"We haven't won there the past few years, so that's the test tomorrow."

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.