Gabriel Martinelli has show why he deserved first-team spot in Mikel Arteta’s team after showed he is ready to be the Gunners main man with his substitute appearance in the Europa League on Thursday.
The Brazilian was given just 67 minutes of first-team football since the turn of year and nine minutes handed him by Mikel Arteta against Olympiacos in mid-week prove Gunners fans demanding he be given more game time were right.
Gabriel Martinelli before his injury— Leon ☔️ (@L14_afc) March 19, 2021
Do not sleep on him pic.twitter.com/fZhLHDa2m1
The highly-rated forward, who suffered a serious injury last June before made returned to action for the Gunners in December, using nine minutes against Greek champions to prove he was still sharp as ever after almost a year of injury setbacks.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on the shoulders of a 19-year-old forward, after he has been restricted of playing time with mostly cameo appearances off the bench, but as it turned out, Martinelli using nine minutes to showed he is ready to be the Gunners main man.
Within a minute of coming on the highly-rated forward had been involved in the first yellow card of Oussenyou Ba whose subsequent moment of petulance saw him red carded and with it any slight chance Olympiacos had of an unlikely late comeback.
Moments later Martinelli picked the ball up again and drove towards the Greek champions’ box before fashioning a cross that a more confident Aubameyang would probably denied by Olympiacos goalkeeper Jose Sa.
These glimpses within five minutes of coming on were enough to leave an impression within the minds of most Gunners fans watching on of why the 19-year-old forward deserved to be playing more often than he has been since his return from injury.
Martinelli, meanwhile, made an instant impact with Gunners last season thanks to his energetic and intelligent play, helped, off course, handsomely, by netted ten goals and contributed four assists across all competitions.