Mikel Arteta sends message to Arsenal about Gabriel Martinelli
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta urges the Gunners to be patient with Gabriel Martinelli ahead of his return to the team
Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal supporters to be patient with Gabriel Martinelli ahead of his return to the Gunners team.
The Brazil international has been sidelined with a serious knee problem since March to undermine his positive start to his Premier League career following his move to Arsenal in the summer of 2019.
The Gunners striker is stepping up rehabilitation from a knee injury ahead of his return to the Arsenal team ahead of a busy Christmas schedule for the north London side.
Martinelli would be a welcome boost to the Gunners team given Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s well-documented struggles in front of goal in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign.
Speaking at his pre-match media conference ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Austrian side Rapid Wien at The Emirates on Thursday night, Arteta said: “Gabi is another one that even in a moment of adversity, you see him training and everything he brings to the team, his energy, his passion, his motivation, is translating positive emotions to everybody.
“He tries and goes and goes again and he wants to score a goal.
“He’s ruthless in training in every single action and the more players and staff you have to add that, at the end that gets translated to what happens on the football pitch and over time you will be stable.
“Gabi’s pressing brings something different to the team and we need players like him.
“Time is the key word in this industry, and nobody is going to give you time! The moment the ball doesn’t go in the net and you lose a football match, you’re going to question all the rest, so with Gabi it’s the same.
“Now he needs time. He’s done it for a period of time and in certain moments throughout a game, but consistently for three years, two or one? He’s never done it. I’m sorry, he’s never done it, so we cannot put that pressure on him.
“It’s like with Bukayo [Saka] and other young players that we have, they’ve never done it in their career, so why do you expect him to do it today? And in which environment? In which context?
“Patience, but he’s a positive guy to have back on the team because he’s such a character.”
The South American striker moved to Arsenal in a permanent transfer from Brazilian club Ituano in the 2019 summer transfer window.
Martinelli scored 10 times and made four assists in 26 games in all competitions in his first season at the north London side to earn rave reviews from Unai Emery, Arteta and even opposition managers such as Jurgen Klopp.
Arsenal have failed to win their last three Premier League games following defeats by Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers, as well as a goalless draw with Leeds United.
The Gunners will take on Tottenham Hotspur in their next Premier League game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon.