Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano reveals how Arsenal pipped Prem rival to masterstroke signing; drops hint on exciting future transfer plans

Arsenal forward Marquinhos

The deciding factor in Arsenal beating Wolves to the signature of Marquinhos has been revealed by Fabrizio Romano who also hinted at a lucrative new transfer strategy.

The Gunners sprung a surprise when landing Wolves target Marquinhos on July 1. Wolves reportedly believed they had the move all but secured after claims the talented Brazilian forward had signed off on a pre-contract agreement.

Yet Marquinhos would go on to join the Gunners, something that led to talk of legal action from Bruno Lage’s side.

The full picture on that situation can be found here, but the end result remained the same: Marquinhos joined Arsenal for just £3m.

That figure raised eyebrows and was seen as a serious coup. Indeed, the common consensus at the time was Marquinhos’ true value was far greater than the figure Arsenal paid.

Marquinhos made his eagerly awaited Arsenal debut on Thursday against FC Zurich in the Europa League.

He wasted little time in catching the eye, scoring the first and assisting the second as Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners in Switzerland.

Now, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has hailed Arsenal for their piece of business which he believes will prove to be a masterstroke.

Brazilian connection swung Arsenal deal

Romano also claimed the real reason Wolves missed out was due to Arsenal chief Edu.

He claimed Edu’s links in his home country of Brazil – and at Sao Paulo specifically – proved pivotal for Arsenal.

“In my view, this could end up being a smart piece of business and a real bargain,” wrote Romano for CaughtOffside.

“Wolves wanted Marquinhos too, but Arsenal have been faster thanks to Edu’s relationship with Sao Paulo.”

Romano then suggested the Gunners will continue to conduct business in Brazil, something that has proved fertile ground for superb signings thus far.

Indeed, Arsenal have four Brazilians currently on their books and all are making an impression. Gabriel Jesus already looks an inspired signing up top, while Gabriel Martinelli has taken a giant leap forward this season on the left wing.

Gabriel Magalhaes continues to excel at the back and has struck up a promising partnership with William Saliba. Marquinhos rounds out the list and his debut against Zurich was as good as it gets.

Marquinhos and Martinelli were both signed directly from Brazilian clubs. Romano suggested that is a strategy the Gunners will look to exploit more and more.

He continued: “Arsenal are convinced he’s (Marquinhos) a top talent for present and future, and for sure the club will keep following the Brazilian market as Edu has great relationships there.”

Marquinhos drives Martin Keown wild

Reacting to his impressive debut in Switzerland, BT Sport pundit, Martin Keown, said:

“It’s the confidence. We talked about having that class in possession. I saw lots of that tonight from Marquinhos.

“Look at that pass from Fabio Vieira, great ball into the channel, we talked about Nketiah and his movement, and then a great pass off his weaker foot.

“And then the finish! The ball just lifts before it comes into him and it’s a wonderful finish from him.

“The first of many, hopefully. He’s got a huge future ahead of him.

“That’s a real opportunity now ahead of him. Bukayo Saka is only a couple of years older himself, but such is the quality he’s going to get chances.”

Keown continued: “He looked a bit like a Gnabry type player. He’s short, stocky, explosive pace. He looked very classy.

“He picked and chose his moments cleverly, whipped a couple of crosses in. Really good quality. He kept on producing.

“I think it’s great news. We’ve seen Saka, we’ve seen [Emile] Smith Rowe in this very competition start their careers. I think we’re seeing another star here in the making.”