Arsenal icon Martin Keown spoke on TalkSport this week about Mikel Arteta’s reluctance to use Gabriel Martinelli regularly.
The sensational Brazilian has had to be patient for a chance. After back to back starts in the Premier League to end 2020, Martinelli has started just one game since, and that has not gone down well among Arsenal supporters.
Everyone associated with Arsenal loves Martinelli. All of us want to see him play more and Keown has used Martin Odegaard’s recent comments about the Brazilian to make a point to Arteta ahead of tomorrow’s game.
Odegaard told Premier League’s YouTube channel last month when asked about the one Arsenal youngster who had caught his eye: “Obviously we have Bukayo [Saka] and Emile [Smith Rowe] and they are already playing so much.
“But I think one guy who hasn’t played that much lately is Gabi Martinelli. He’s such a big talent, you see him in training every day and you see it. He’s a really talented player with a lot of qualities, so I think definitely he’s one for the future. And he’s so young still, so I will go with him.”
Keown used the above comments to convince Arteta to start Martinelli.
He said: “He (Arteta) has a youngster, Martinelli. Odegaard has been in a Real Madrid dressing room and has said he’s the best young player he has seen in years. He doesn’t actually play for Arsenal, he just trains.
“Surely it’s time to give him a game, particularly if Aubameyang is not up for it and in the mood.”
Should Martinelli start against Slavia Prague?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang does not look anything like his previous self. Things are not working for him in front of goal at the moment, and when he doesn’t score, he offers very little to the team.
As damaging as it would be to Auba’s confidence, Arteta should consider leaving him on the bench tomorrow. A couple of games away from the starting lineup could help the Arsenal skipper think from a different perspective, and that could get him firing again.
Martinelli should start on the left-wing against Slavia tomorrow. He deserves a chance to show what he’s got, and his energy and directness will surely give a lift to the players around him – something we seriously lacked against Liverpool on Saturday.