‘We sometimes forget’: Mikel Arteta reveals his Arsenal plans for Gabriel Martinelli

Mikel Arteta delivers his latest thoughts on Gabriel Martinelli at Arsenal after his lack of playing time so far this term

Gabriel Martinelli
Gabriel Martinelli (Photo: Adidas)

Mikel Arteta insists he plans to hand Gabriel Martinelli more game-time at Arsenal this season – and has ruled out the possibility of the Brazilian leaving on loan in January.

The 20-year-old forward has found his first-team opportunities to be few and far between so far this season, and he has only started two of Arsenal’s seven games in the Premier League.

Martinelli has only played 240 minutes of football in all competitions for the Gunners since the start of the new campaign and he has only featured in four games in all.

However, despite his lack of first-team action, Arteta has insisted that he has no plans to ship Martinelli out on loan, insisting that chances will come for the attacker and that “we sometimes forget his age”.

Asked directly about Martinelli’s lack of game-time this season, Arteta told a news conference last week: “Well, 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 as well.

“If you look at the number of games that he’s played, the injuries he’s suffered have been big setbacks. We sometimes forget his age, what he’s done and where he is.

“We need to try to help him to maintain that balance because you know you can generate frustration that, in my opinion, comes out of a not very realistic diagnosis. You need time to do that.”

The Arsenal boss was then asked whether Martinelli could go out on loan in January, but Arteta replied: “I’m very happy with him. We’re not thinking about anything like that.”

Arteta went on to reveal that Martinelli is a doubt for Arsenal’s home clash against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday night after picking up a minor injury in the lead-up to the game.

He added: “Unfortunately, he got injured last week – it’s a minor injury and we don’t know if he’s going to be available for Monday.

“We have a lot of options with Gabi and we need to find the right space for him to grow within the squad.”

Martinelli missed the first part of last season due to a knee injury and only made 14 appearances in the Premier League last term, scoring two goals and making one assist in 14 games in the top flight in total. He made 20 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners last term.

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