Arteta says Martinelli has become a 'tremendous' player for Arsenal now
The young Brazilian has had to wait for his time at the Emirates. He started just seven games in the Premier League in the 2020/21 campaign, 21 times last season, and now, it looks like that number could go up to the high thirties.
Arsenal fans were often critical of Arteta for not offering enough game time to Martinelli. The Gunners boss, however, stood his ground and only agreed to play the Brazilian after he was convinced that he was ready.
That decision seems to be paying off now as Martinelli has been one of Arsenal’s best players this season.
Arteta says everyone’s seeing Martinelli’s ‘tremendous talent’ now
Martinelli has been brilliant for Arsenal over the last month. The 21-year-old scored the Gunners’ first goal of the campaign against Crystal Palace on the opening day, and he has added two more to his tally since.
He looks like a much better player now and Arteta was asked yesterday if Martinelli’s brilliance this season is a consequence of how his game time was managed over the last two years.
The Spaniard replied, as per Arsenal.com: “I don’t know – we just tried to make a decision based on what we see, where the players are at and the space they have in the team.
“When we believe they are ready to step in and give their performances and expose them where it’s fair for the players to demand certain things that you’re exposed to at this club.
“Now, you see a player with tremendous talent who is performing consistently at a very high level. He (Martinelli) needs to keep doing that and keep improving.
Arteta could be forced to start Martinelli today
Arsenal kick off their Europa League campaign with an away game against FC Zurich this evening.
The group stages of the competition usually opens the door for fringe players to get some game time under their belt, while the regular starters in the Premier League get a good rest.
However, following injuries to Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal don’t really have a senior player other than Martinelli who can play out on the left flank.
Arteta could be left with no choice but to start the 21-year-old again this evening as a result.
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