Just In: Arsenal Gaffer Mikel Arteta sounds warning over Gabriel Martinelli after latest omission

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal starlet Gabriel Martinelli ‘needs some time’ to get back to his best and has explained why he continues to overlook the Brazilian in recent matches.

The 19-year-old was quickly thrown back into the Gunners’ team after returning from a long-term knee injury at the end of last year, but his game time has dwindled since then.

Despite being on the bench in each of Arsenal’s last five Premier League matches, Martinelli has been an unused substitute in all of them with that trend continuing against Leicester City on Sunday.

Even though Arsenal appeared to have the game firmly under control at 3-1 up at the King Power Stadium, Arteta opted to bring on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang late on ahead of Martinelli.

The teenager was also overlooked despite Arsenal needing a goal late on against Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday.


While Arteta has no concerns about Martinelli’s long-term future or potential, he appeared to suggest that, right now, the Brazilian is not doing enough to deserve more minutes.

Asked why Martinelli was left on the bench yet again, Arteta replied: ‘Well he needs to keep working and make it difficult for us [to leave him out].

‘He’s a player that is going to give us a lot but he needs some time. ‘We need to find the right games for him and the right connections for him on the pitch to do what he can do best. 

‘But the way he is, the way he trains every day, he’s going to be a really important player for us, no doubt. ‘But when you have many options on the bench it’s difficult when you look for certain qualities in certain games.’

Arteta opted to bring on Martin Odegaard when Emile Smith Rowe picked up an injury in the first half against Leicester, with Thomas Partey replacing Mohamed Elneny after 66 minutes and then Aubameyang coming on for the final six minutes.

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