William Gallas has suggested that Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli is being overhyped by fans following his impressive start to the season.
The 21-year-old has been a standout player for the Gunners this term having started all ten Premier League games for the table-toppers.
He has chipped in with four goals and two assists, with the Brazilian in line to receive a bumper new contract.
And in a boost for the north London outfit, Martinelli has declared he wishes to extend his stay at the Emirates.
Former Arsenal skipper Gallas believes Arsenal desperately need to tie him down to a new deal amid rumours that Real Madrid are keeping tabs on him.
But the Frenchman stated that the youngster is not yet ‘good enough’ to play for Los Blancos, as he said he needs to perform on a consistent basis.
He told Genting Casino: “I think Arsenal have to get that deal with Martinelli signed as quickly as possible.
“I’m sure he’s hearing so many things about him, like Real Madrid being interested. Sometimes the player can be confused.
“At the moment, I think he’s playing well, and Arsenal have to close that deal as soon as possible, so he feels better in his mind.
“I don’t think he’s good enough for Real Madrid yet.
“In football, after two or three games, everyone is raving about that player, ‘he’s magnificent’ or ‘he’s a top-class player’.
“But no, calm down, let him have a great season to get to another level. He’s still young, and he’s only 21.
“But if he goes step-by-step, he can go to a club like Real Madrid, but right now, he’s not ready.”
Commenting on Bukayo Saka, who is also in talks over a new contract, Gallas remarked: “I think Martinelli and Saka are still behind [Kevin] De Bruyne, for example.
“To be among the best, it’s not because you played a few good games and then suddenly you belong there.
“You need to be consistent and prove throughout the season that you’re at that level, which is not easy because the Premier League is so competitive.
“You play almost every three days and top teams play in Europe.
“At the end of the season we will know how good they are, and even then we may need another season.
“Sometimes players can have one great season and everyone is talking about them, and then they can’t do it for the next season. So top class players are those who can do it almost every season.”