Mikel Arteta drops hint about Gabriel Martinelli for Arsenal fans

Mikel Arteta hints that Gabriel Martinelli is set to feature more regularly for Arsenal in the future

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: BT Sport / Screengrab)

Mikel Arteta has hinted that Gabriel Martinelli is set to feature more regularly for Arsenal in the coming months.

The Brazilian teenager has found his first-team opportunities at The Emirates to be somewhat restricted this season and he has only started seven games in the Premier League for the Gunners this term.

Martinelli came on to play the final 12 minutes of Arsenal’s 3-1 win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday night and he scored the Gunners’ second goal at Selhurst Park.

The 19-year-old has made 21 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this term but only nine of those have been from the start.

Arteta wants to see more from the teenager next season but has hinted that he is getting closer to holding down a more regular spot in the first team.

Asked how close Martinelli is to starting more regularly, Arteta said: “Very close and he needs to keep fighting to be closer and closer.

“We need to understand where the boys are and the phase of their development, what they have done already this season and last season.

“I know that we want to play with 11 academy players and all under 20, but guys, who is doing that? I think we’ve done it more than anybody.

“They’re going to have their chances and they’re earning their chances, we’re not just giving the chances they’re earning them, absolutely earning their chances and it’s a joy to have them.”

Martinelli will be hoping to make his eighth Premier League start of the season on Sunday when Arsenal host Crystal Palace in their final top-flight game of the campaign.

The Gunners head into the final round of fixtures in ninth place in the Premier League table.

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