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Arsenal keep Gabriel Martinelli's dream shirt number free in hint new signing will take

Arsenal have handed Gabriel Martinelli the 11 shirt instead of his dream number - the vacant 14 - suggesting Arsenal could be keeping it free for a big summer signing.

The north Londoners' new strip is on sale with Mike Arteta's side set to wear it for the first time in their final Premier League game of the season on Sunday, at home to Everton.

The jersey's new-look design includes a striking collar with white sleeves, but the kit launch wasn't the only announcement with Martinelli being handed a new squad number. The Brazilian will wear the number 11 as he swaps out his old 35. Martinelli has enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Gunners and has finally started to realise the potential that was seen in flashes when he first joined the club as a teenager.

The winger has kept Nicolas Pepe and Emile Smith Rowe out of the team, cementing his place in Arteta's starting line-up. And the rising star has now been rewarded for his impressive season.

Martinelli has previously spoken about how he would eventually move on from the 35 shirt, but his dream was to take Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's number 14, which was famously worn by legendary striker Thierry Henry.

Aubameyang has since left the club as he joined Barcelona in January, which means the 14 is currently vacant, but this didn't see Martinelli land the number.

Gabriel Martinelli will wear the number 11 shirt next season (Twitter: Arsenal FC)

Speaking last February, Martinelli told ESPN Brazil: "Of course, Auba is an incredible player. Not just a player, an incredible person.

"It's a pleasure to have him in the team. He's a guy who plays in my position. I can look at him every day and try to learn as much as possible. I certainly hope to be playing in the near future.

"And follow in his footsteps, he's captain of the team, wearing shirt 14, which is a symbol of the club. I hope to have a bright future ahead at Arsenal."

Gabriel Martinelli wanted Aubameyang's number 14 shirt (Action Images via Reuters)

Should Martinell have been given the number 14 shirt? Let us know in the comment section below

Either Martinelli changed his mind and didn't want to wear number 14 any longer or perhaps Arsenal are keeping it free for a potential arrival in the upcoming window. The number 14 is usually reserved for big-name players like Henry and Aubameyang, suggesting there could be a marquee signing on the way.

It's no secret that Arsenal are on the lookout for a striker after Aubeyang's departure with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah also set to leave as free agents as their contracts expire.

Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates with Erling Haaland set to arrive at the Etihad next season. The Brazilian has a year left on his deal, which means City could cash in on the forward so he doesn't leave for free in 2023.