Mikel Arteta reveals why Gabriel Martinelli has not been playing much for Arsenal this season
Arsenal enjoy mixed season
Arsenal have enjoyed a thoroughly mixed start to the Premier League campaign. Three straight losses saw them head into the September international break bottom of the Premier League table, without having picked up a point and without having even scored a goal.
However, in the time since, the Gunners have won three and drawn one of their last four games, a record which saw Mikel Arteta scoop up the manager of the month award for September.
💪 3 wins
⚽️ 5 goals
⛔️ 2 clean sheets
👔 Mikel Arteta is the @BarclaysFooty Manager of the Month #PLAwards pic.twitter.com/PY1Bt0zHp7
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 8, 2021
One man who has not played much part in the upturn in form, however, has been highly rated Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli. While Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have starred, their fellow young talent has not managed to make it off the bench, only appearing in the Carabao Cup third-round win over AFC Wimbledon.
Arteta provides an explanation for his absence
Speaking ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Crystal Palace, managed by former invincible Patrick Vieira, Mikel Arteta was quick to defend Martinelli’s lack of game-time, revealing that he had also picked up an injury that leaves him a doubt for the visit of the Eagles on Monday night.
The boss said:
[he’s not playing] because of the amount of players we have in those positions, first of all. He had some games that he played. He started against Brentford and he started against Chelsea.”
But unfortunately, he got injured last week. It’s a minor injury, we don’t know if he’s going to be available for Monday.
“We have a lot of trust in Gabi. We sometimes forget his age, what he’s done and where he is.”
Arteta says Martinelli has “a minor injury, we don’t know if he’s going to be available for Monday”.
He adds that Arsenal have “a lot of trust” in Martinelli.
“We sometimes forget his age, what he’s done and where he is.”
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) October 14, 2021
However, the Arsenal boss reiterated that the club had no intention of Gabriel Martinelli letting him leave on loan in January, seemingly closing the door to the prospect:
“We are very happy with [Martinelli], we’re not thinking [about a loan].”
Will Martinelli be able to work his way into the starting XI, or will it be another season of warming the bench for the youngster?