Marquinhos, a new player for Arsenal, said after his dream debut that “this is just the beginning.”
The 19-year-old was the least-talked-about of the five players the club brought in over the summer. However, he did well in preseason and then had a few great games for the Under-21s last month.
Mikel Arteta didn’t send former Sao Paulo winger Bukayo Saka on loan because Arsenal didn’t sign Pedro Neto or Raphinha, two players who were supposed to compete with and back up Saka. Instead, Arteta decided to keep Saka on the team.
Marquinhos played for the first time last night when the Gunners played FC Zurich in their Europa League opener. The young player proved his manager right by putting on a game-winning performance.
The teenager scored the first goal in the 16th minute. He did it with a great finish on his weaker right foot at the end of a flowing move that also involved Fabio Vieira and Eddie Nketiah.
The home team tied it up with a penalty kick that went against the flow of play, but Arsenal won the game when Nketiah scored at the far post after Marquinhos’s cross was just right.
After the game, the Brazilian posted on Instagram, “God is great.” It was a dream come true to make my debut with this huge shirt, and I’m very happy about the goal and the win. But this is just the start, so let’s go! ’
As a sign of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, Arsenal canceled their post-game media duties. This meant that Arteta couldn’t give his thoughts on Marquinhos’s performance, but club legend Martin Keown thought he was great.
He told BT Sport, “It’s the confidence. We talked about having that class in your hands.” Marquinhos did a lot of that tonight.
“Look at Fabio Vieira’s great pass into the channel. We talked about Nketiah’s movement, and then he made a great pass with his less strong foot.
“And then it was over! The ball just rises before it gets to him, and he makes a great finish.’
He went on: “Hopefully the first of many.” He is going to go far in life.
“That’s a real chance for him right now. Bukayo Saka is just a few years older than him, but he is so good that he will get chances.
“He kind of looked like a player like Gnabry.” He is short, stocky, and moves very quickly. He was very stylish.
“He chose his times well and whipped in a couple of crosses. The quality is really good. He kept making things.
“I think it’s wonderful. We’ve seen Saka and Smith Rowe start their careers in this same competition. I think we’re seeing the makings of another star here.’