Leeds United’s recruitment team has unearthed a number of gems of late and could have had another.

A player linked with Leeds United at the start of the year is now the highest-scoring teenager in Europe’s top-five leagues.

According to Teamtalk, the Whites were one the clubs that held an interest in Gabriel Martinelli ahead of his eventual move to Arsenal – for a reported fee of around £6 million (Transfermarkt).

With rivals of the Gunners’ stature – Martinelli also had trials at Manchester United and Barcelona – Leeds’ chances of signing the Brazilian were always going to be slim.

But Martinelli was playing fourth-tier football for Ituano before his move to Arsenal – where he has found the net seven times in as many matches after Wednesday’s League Cup fourth-round defeat against Liverpool.

And the ability to identify top young talents like him – if the speculation is true – should serve as further encouragement to fans of a club for which Ben White, Eddie Nketiah and Jack Harrison have all impressed after a calculated gamble was taken by Elland Road’s management and recruitment teams.

With any luck, Leeds will be a Premier League club this time year, and in a much more favourable position to make future Martinellis their own.

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