Arsenal insider Charles Watts thinks that Gabriel Martinelli has done enough to earn himself a place in the starting eleven for their game against Slavia Prague.
The 19-year-old, valued at £19.8m on Transfermarkt, put in a fine display against Sheffield United last night, scoring his first Arsenal goal since January 2020 whilst also taking 4 shots, completing 81% of his passes and playing 1 key pass in the Gunners’ 3-0 win in the Premier League.
It was the perfect bounce-back performance from their 1-1 draw with the Czech side on Thursday night, and speaking on the latest episode of his show, Watts thinks that he has more than enough in his skill set for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta to consider starting him in the return leg this coming Thursday:
“It shouldn’t be a tough decision at all. It should be an easy decision and that is Gabriel Martinelli has to start on Thursday night in the Czech Republic. We’ve all been calling for it. We’ve all been saying he should be given a chance. Mikel Arteta has been calling for patience. But he finally unleashed the shackles and started Martinelli on [Sunday] night and he just makes things happen.
“He gives Arsenal a goal threat and Arsenal been lacking goal threats all season, they don’t score many goals. Arsenal have to win on Thursday night, they have to score in the Czech Republic – we know that after the 1-1 draw – and that’s why, for me, Martinelli after that performance last night has to be a shoo-in to start.”
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TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments about Gabriel Martinelli…
Watts’ comments echo those of former Arsenal player Martin Keown, who said last week that he felt the Brazilian needed to play more. And whilst this display was only against a very poor Sheffield United team, it does show that Martinelli can produce when given the chance.
And now that he will have his confidence back after scoring his first goal in over a year, and can show that he can play 90 minutes following a long spell out through injury, there really should be no excuse for Arteta not to play him from the outset when they travel to Prague this Thursday.