Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta needs to find the ‘right games’ to deploy Gabriel Martinelli

The 19-year-old Brazilian has suffered with injuries this season and has barely featured in Mikel Arteta’s team

Sports Staff
Monday 01 March 2021 13:45
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Gabriel Martinelli in training last week
Gabriel Martinelli in training last week

Mikel Arteta says he needs to find “the right games” to deploy his talented young striker Gabriel Martinelli.

The 19-year-old Brazilian has suffered with injuries this season but is now fit and ready to play. However, he was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Leicester on the weekend and has barely featured this season for Arteta’s Gunners. 

“He needs to keep working and making it difficult for us. He is a player that is going to give us a lot, but we need some time to find the right games for him and the right connections with him on the pitch so that he can do what he does best.

“The way he is and the way he trains every day, he is going to be a really important player for us, no doubt. But, when you have many options, it is difficult when you look for certain qualities in certain games.”

The Gunners' 3-1 comeback victory against the Foxes on Sunday backed up last week's Europa League progress against Benfica. David Luiz and Nicolas Pepe added to Alexandre Lacazette's penalty as Arsenal recovered after going behind to Youri Tielemans' early opener.

Arteta's side remain 10th in the Premier League, three points behind Everton in seventh having played two games more.

Xhaka told arsenal.com: "We have to do it game by game, not for three games, not for four, we have to constantly be like this, with this energy, this team spirit and after I am looking forward to us doing something. We know that they have very good midfielders, they have a very good team as well. They try to play football but we won a lot of duels, a lot of 50-50 balls and the goals were beautiful and I am so happy for the team.

"I think we started very slowly. After my mistake when we conceded the goal, I think the team went a little bit up. We knew it would be very difficult after the Europa League game, after the travelling and everything else, to be ready for 12pm. It wasn't easy but I think in the end we deserved to win. We did a really, really good game after 10 minutes. A really important three points for us."

Additional reporting by PA

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