Mikel Arteta opens up about Gabriel Martinelli after his sparkling Arsenal form

Mikel Arteta has been thrilled by Gabriel Martinelli's impressive form for Arsenal in recent games

Gabriel Martinelli
Gabriel Martinelli (Photo: Adidas)

Mikel Arteta has admitted that Gabriel Martinelli “has come a long way” following his excellent form for Arsenal in recent games.

The 20-year-old forward was named as the man of the match on Saturday night as he scored twice in the Gunners’ 4-1 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road.

Martinelli has been enjoying a positive run of form in the Arsenal team in recent weeks and he has scored four goals and made two assists in 11 Premier League games for Arteta’s side.

The Brazilian has had to be patient to earn a sustained run in the first team, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence has helped to open up a spot for him in the Arsenal side in recent games.

Arteta says he has been thrilled by the way Martinelli has been taking his opportunity in recent games and says he has been delighted with the players attitude and commitment.

Asked about Martinelli after the victory at Elland Road, Arteta said: “We see the player every day and we know where the player has to be to be able to appear in the right frame, and then sustain that level into the season.

“We’ve started to use Gabi more and more when we thought that was the case. There’s no point exposing a player even when there’s a lot of opinions that it has to be done because it won’t be beneficial for the player.

“And in the end we are here to protect the player and develop the players that we have in the best possible way. We judge every day with what we see and I’m really happy with him and the way he’s performing.”

Arteta added: “He’s come a long, long way because his energy, his passion, his commitment, it doesn’t get much better than that ever, but there are other aspects in the game that he’s had to develop and maintain the ones that he’s exceptional at, like today, because when he has chances he puts them away. Again, he’s in the right direction.”

Martinelli will be hoping to start when Arsenal host Sunderland in the League Cup quarter-finals at The Emirates on Tuesday night.

The Brazilian became the youngest Arsenal player to score twice in a Premier League game since Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2014.

“We played the first half very well,” Martinelli said after his impressive performance against Leeds. “The second half I think we dropped a bit, but it’s normal – they wanted to win the game as well, and they are a very good team. I think we did really well, it was a very important win.

“As I always say we have a (young) team, but a very strong team. We are together as a team, and we are together with the fans as well. They gave so much energy to us, and it was so important for the win as well.”

MORE: Latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Mikel Arteta
Sky Sports pundit predicts where Arsenal can finish this season
Rio Ferdinand
'I think': Rio Ferdinand makes prediction about Chelsea FC in the League Cup
Martin Keown
Martin Keown wants to see Arsenal sign Adama Traore from Wolves
Spurs legend Garth Crooks (Photo: Screengrab / BBC Sport)
BBC Sport pundit declares Man United star Bruno Fernandes is 'back to his best'
Emma Raducanu
Australian Open 2022: Emma Raducanu wins battle of US Open champs with win over Sloane Stephens
Mikel Arteta
Sky Sports pundit predicts where Arsenal can finish this season
Rio Ferdinand
'I think': Rio Ferdinand makes prediction about Chelsea FC in the League Cup
Martin Keown
Martin Keown wants to see Arsenal sign Adama Traore from Wolves
Spurs legend Garth Crooks (Photo: Screengrab / BBC Sport)
BBC Sport pundit declares Man United star Bruno Fernandes is 'back to his best'
Emma Raducanu
Australian Open 2022: Emma Raducanu wins battle of US Open champs with win over Sloane Stephens
Slideshow
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature