Chelsea’s Thiago Silva thinks ‘arrogant’ Premier League star can storm World Cup

Chelsea and Brazil defender Thiago Silva has tipped Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli to take the World Cup by storm.

The precocious youngster began the South American’s opening clash against Serbia on the bench as Tite opted to go with the all-star front four of Neymar, Raphinha, Vinivious Jr and Richarlison. However, he is certainly in with a chance of playing a big role off the bench, having netted five Premier League goals for the table topping Gunners’ this season.

He and fellow Gunner Gabriel Jesus were both called up by the five time World Champions, who will also need to navigate their way past Switzerland and Cameroon to get into the knockout stages. But while Brazil are heaving in attacking options, Silva has touted Martinelli to make a splash if given the opportunity.

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“You can see the connection they’ve had this season with Arsenal,” Silva said before Brazil’s opening match against Serbia. “It’s a big reason why they're top of the Premier League.

“Jesus, we’ve known about his quality for a long time, but Martinelli is really showing what he’s about. He’s playing without fear.

“If he gets the chance to play, I don't think it will faze him. He’ll just do what we know he can do.

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“I think all attacking players at the top level need that little bit of arrogance – that they know they can do something special – and he has that.” The fact Martinelli only has three international caps to his name goes to show the incredible depth of talent the South Americans have.

This has predictably resulted in them going into the competition with the often heavy title of tournament favourites. However, Silva admitted they do not need the football world to plunder them with that title, as they have already put that pressure on themselves.

“The target for Brazil is the same as always and that is to win The World Cup,” Silva added. “But you do that by taking things one game at a time. I don't want to talk about favourites or who we could play in the final, because we’re not there yet.”

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