‘He’s so brave’: Mikel Arteta raves about Arsenal teenager
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits he was impressed with Gabriel Martinelli's display in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Sheffield United
Mikel Arteta has praised Gabriel Martinelli’s bravery after the Arsenal teenager stepped up to the mark to score in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.
The 18-year-old was drafted into the Arsenal team for the visit of Sheffield United in the absence of suspended Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Martinelli started on the right wing and the teenager broke the deadlock in the 45th minute when he guided an opener into the net past Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
The Brazilian forward’s goal was sufficient to secure three points for the home side after Sheffield United’s John Fleck equalised with seven minutes left to play at The Emirates.
Martinelli’s display was one of the positives to come from a disappointing result in the Premier League as Arsenal stayed rooted to tenth spot despite fourth-placed Chelsea FC losing at Newcastle United.
Speaking at his post-match media conference about Martinelli, Arteta raved about the Brazilian teenager’s performance:
“He’s an 18-year-old kid with all the enthusiasm but as well, he’s so brave to make decisions, to threaten the opponent every time.
“He’s all the time in the middle of the goal, waiting for an opportunity to come.
“The fact he hasn’t played 90 minutes for a while – since his injury – but is still in the way he went about every single action is impressive.”
Martinelli moved to Arsenal from Brazilian side Ituano last summer.
The 18-year-old has already scored two Premier League goals after he found the back of the net in a 3-1 win against Arsenal at the London Stadium back in December.
The summer signing has scored three Europa League goals and four League Cup goals in a positive start to his Arsenal career despite playing under three different head coaches already.