Marquinhos, the 19-year-old Brazilian winger, joined Arsenal from Sao Paulo this summer. The teenager had scored 4 goals in 41 games for Sao Paulo prior to his move to England.
The winger’s two U-21s games for Arsenal had been excellent, with three goals and an assist, but he had yet to feature for the senior team.
The player failed to make the squad for any of Arsenal’s first 6 PL matches, wherein the Gunners won five and lost the last one against rivals Manchester United.
His chance to debut came when he was picked in the team’s starting lineup for the Europa League opener versus FC Zurich of Switzerland at Kybun Park.
And boy did he make the most of it.
The player scored a debut goal inside the 16th minute by running the length of the pitch before latching on to Eddie Nketiah’s cross with a powerful and beautiful finish in the top left corner.
Scoring the first goal for your club is always emotional, and scoring it on your debut makes it even sweeter.
The emotion after a debut goal is overwhelming for most players, but consider a teenager who moved out of his country at the young age of 19, worried if he’ll make it or if it was the right decision, and you can see why the player reacted the way he did.
After scoring, Marquinhos sprinted to the corner, towards the away stand, and fell on his knees with tears in his eyes.
Fellow new signing Pablo Vieira and Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli were quick to reach the scene to celebrate with Marquinhos, all overjoyed with his goal.
Marquinhos was overwhelmed with the passion that he was feeling for the club and he got down on the ground once again as his teammates surrounded him with ecstatic energy.
This passion was not just seen in the celebration, but also in his intensity on the pitch.
After scoring the goal that gave Arsenal the lead, Marquinhos fired up and went on to be the best player on the pitch for the remainder of the match.
Scorer turned the provider for the second goal, as Marquinhos provided a sumptuous cross for Nketiah.
The Gunners fanbase was more than happy with what they were seeing. It is not difficult to find young talent. Skills can be taught. What cannot be taught, however, is such a crazy and deep passion for the club.
Some were touting him as the clear best player on the pitch, and some were calling him the man of the match.
Arsenal struggled a little more than they would have liked but got the three points they needed in the end.
With an already young squad full of passion and talent, Arteta may have just stumbled upon another jigsaw piece in the puzzle he’s trying to solve at Arsenal.