‘I want to play’: Gabriel Martinelli sends message to Mikel Arteta after Arsenal’s 2-0 win over West Ham

Gabriel Martinelli declares his desire to hold down a regular spot in the Arsenal team after another stellar display against West Ham United

Gabriel Martinelli
Gabriel Martinelli (Photo: Adidas)

Gabriel Martinelli outlined his desire to hold down a regular spot in the Arsenal team after he helped to fire the Gunners to a 2-0 victory over West Ham United on Wednesday night.

Martinelli netted the opener with a cool finish in front of Arsenal’s home fans at The Emirates to put the Gunners ahead in the 48th minute.

The Brazilian slid home a smart finish after being put through by Alexandre Lacazette as the 20-year-old netted his second goal in five games.

Substitute Emile Smith Rowe then made the points secure with three minutes left to play with a low effort after Lacazette had missed from the penalty spot in the 69th minute.

Martinelli has been in excellent form for the Gunners of late and he has now scored two goals and made two assists in 10 Premier League games this season – with the goals and assists all coming in his last five appearances.

The forward is now hoping to hold down a regular spot in the Arsenal team in the coming weeks as he looks to help the Gunners build on their top-four challenge.

“It was a very good game,” Martinelli said on BT Sport after the final whistle. “The win was so important for the team. We know the potential we have. It was a great victory. I am so happy.

“We like to see the fans like that and cheer us on. We knew it was going to be a very difficult game but we have a very good group.

“They were defending well and we were waiting for the moment. Thank you Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] for the assist! I want to play every time.”

Asked about the captaincy situation after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the armband this week, he replied: “We are a team. We are together. It’s up to Mikel [Arteta] and the whole team to decide who will be captain.”

Martinelli went down injured late on during the game and had to be substituted in the 82nd minute, and he will be hoping to be fit for the trip to Leeds United on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the young Brazilian attacker and the way he took his goal against the east London side.

“It was a great first goal,” said Arteta. “That’s what Gabriel [Martinelli] can do. He is always a threat and this pace is really good for him to exploit.”

He added: “The second one was good on the counter-attack. It’s a shame we miss a penalty in that moment as it would have given us more time to relax because you can’t against this team. They can score a goal in any action.”

The victory moved Arsenal into fourth place in the table and a point ahead of West Ham United as the Gunners look towards their Premier League trip to Elland Road at the weekend.

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