BBC Sport pundit: Arsenal star’s talent has to be taken ‘very seriously’

Garth Crooks heaps praise on Gabriel Martinelli following his excellent recent form for Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli
Gabriel Martinelli (Photo: Adidas)

Garth Crooks says Gabriel Martinelli’s talent at Arsenal needs to be taken “very seriously” following his recent good form for the Gunners.

Martinelli, 20, was named as the man of the match as he scored Arsenal’s first two goals in their 4-1 victory at Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Brazilian forward has been impressing while on a regular run in the first team for Mikel Arteta’s side and he has now scored four goals and made two assists in 11 Premier League games this season.

He has netted three times in his last two outings for the north London side and his good form has come at just the right time following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence due to disciplinary issues.

Martinelli is starting to prove himself as a key member of Arteta’s squad and the young forward will now be aiming to hold down a regular spot in the first team at The Emirates over the busy winter period.

And former Tottenham star Crooks feels that Martinelli is starting to show he is worthy of a more regular starting spot in the Gunners team.

Picking Martinelli in his team of the week, Crooks wrote: “I do like Martinelli. Quick, direct and not lacking in confidence in front of goal.

“The Brazilian’s finish against West Ham was classy while his two goals at Leeds simply established the fact this lad is to be taken very seriously. It might be a reason for Mikel Arteta to let Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang go, although I wouldn’t advise it just yet.

“Whatever is causing Aubameyang to misbehave it would be in Arteta’s interest to fix it. There are still plenty of goals in the Gabon striker and they are always a good reason to persevere with any player that can produce them on a regular basis – and he can.”

Arsenal are fourth in the Premier League table heading into the busy Christmas schedule but Arteta acknowledges that there is still a long way to go in the race for Champions League qualification.

“We are there now, but it’s still a long, long season to go ahead with a lot of unpredictable things probably that are going to happen, but we are there,” said Arteta after Saturday’s win at Elland Road. “We want to continue that and we want to continue improving and playing better and better and then let’s see where we get.”

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