Mikel Arteta sends fresh message to Arsenal fans about Gabriel Martinelli

Mikel Arteta issues an update on Gabriel Martinelli and his place in the Arsenal team this season

Gabriel Martinelli
Gabriel Martinelli (Photo: Arsenal Player)

Mikel Arteta says he understands calls for Gabriel Martinelli to feature more regularly for Arsenal but claims that the teenager must be managed correctly.

The 19-year-old has found his first-team opportunities to be limited this season despite having returned from a long-term injury earlier in the campaign.

Martinelli has looked sharp when he has been called upon this season but he has been limited to only a handful of starts in the Premier League for Arteta’s men.

The Brazilian will be hoping to hold down a more regular fixture in the first team between now and the end of the season as he looks to help the Gunners end the campaign on a positive note.

Martinelli made only his fourth Premier League start for the Gunners this season in their 3-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday night, as he scored the north London side’s second goal.

Arteta says he understands why some fans are calling for the teenager to feature more regularly this season, but the Spanish head coach also believes that the youngster needs to be managed in the correct way.

Speaking in an interview before Arsenal’s trip to Sheffield United on Sunday, Arteta said: “That I understand [calls for Martinelli to feature more].

“When the team is not winning enough football matches, we always look for someone else to do it. But we can name a few of those.

“I respect that, and Gabi is doing really well. He is doing better every day, he is getting the right development.

“We have to be a little bit patient with him but he has a bright future at the club and he will have all the opportunities that he needs to show us how good he is and the career he can have with us.”

Arsenal will take on Slavia Prague in the return leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash on Thursday night after drawing the first leg 1-1 at The Emirates.

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