Gabriel Martinelli made the difference last night after coming off the bench to score a 91st-minute winner for Arsenal against Crystal Palace.
The Brazilian, labelled as ‘very special‘ by Freddie Ljungberg, has had a really difficult season. Injuries have played a massive part in halting his development, while Mikel Arteta has also been slightly hesitant to use him consistently this term.
That has annoyed many Arsenal supporters. All of us want to see Martinelli week in, week out, and the Brazilian’s goal last night showed that he fully deserves more opportunities in the Premier League.
Martinelli: If Mikel needs me, I’ll be ready to come on for Arsenal
Martinelli spoke to BT Sport after the game and he admitted that it hasn’t been easy to spend most of his time on the bench. However, he showed his brilliant mentality by claiming that he will always be ready to come on if and when Arteta needs him.
He said: “I’m always ready, when Mikel needs me, I’ll always be there to come on and score a goal. It’s not easy [being on the bench] but as I said, I’m always ready when Mikel needs me.”
Martinelli was indeed ready to come on and score a goal when Arteta needed him last night. The composure he showed to control the ball and tuck it into the back of the net truly was world-class, and boy he’s a star.
The Brazilian has now done enough for a spot from the start against Brighton on Sunday. Arsenal fans absolutely loved his performance off the bench last night, and his words post-match just made us love him a little bit more.