Martinelli scored twice during the 5-5 draw at Anfield before a young Liverpool side won 5-4 on penalties. The Brazilian was lauded by Klopp, something the 18-year-old reflected on during a recent interview with Marca (h/t Jake Polden of the Daily Mirror): "I feel very proud that one of the best tacticians in the world speaks well of me. Now I have to remain firm, focused and continue working to achieve greater things."
Klopp was sufficiently wowed to adorn Martinelli with the lofty label "talent of the century," per Polden.
Martinelli may not be at that level, but he has been defying expectations during his first season in England. He arrived from Ituano last summer for a fee believed to be £6 million, a sum that's looked like a bargain since, thanks to Martinelli scoring 10 goals and providing three assists in all competitions.
Martinelli's performances have made him a regular under head coach Mikel Arteta since the Spaniard succeeded Freddie Ljungberg in late December. He's started the last three games in England's top flight, as well as the 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round.
Martinelli's quick adaptation helped Arsenal cope without leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during a three-game suspension in January, and his performance has been all the more valuable to Arsenal because of the struggles of Nicolas Pepe, who was a far more expensive summer addition to the team's forwards.
The former Lille winger became the Gunners' record signing when he arrived from Ligue 1 in a deal worth £72 million. Yet Pepe has failed to become a regular starter under Arteta or predecessors Ljungberg and Unai Emery, managing five goals and as many assists in 27 appearances across all competitions (17 starts).
Pepe's struggles, along with persistent rumours linking Aubameyang with a move away, mean Martinelli could soon become a player Arteta builds his team around.
Martinelli was originally signed as a prospect to be developed, but his rapid strides should save Arsenal millions in the transfer market in the coming years.