Former Arsenal man Martin Keown is amazed that Gabriel Martinelli isn’t playing more for the club.
The Brazilian winger, valued at £19.8m on Transfermarkt, has only started five games for the Gunners this season, although some of that is mitigated by his time spent out with a devastating injury he picked up last year after what was something of a breakout season last campaign, as he scored ten goals in all competitions
And with the Gunners coming off the back of a rather disappointing 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague that leaves their Europa League campaign in jeopardy, Keown was on TalkSport (0:31), questioning Mikel Arteta’s tactics and why Martinelli isn’t seeing more playing time:
“I think he really needs to be held a little bit responsible for some of those selections. I cannot understand why Martinelli doesn’t play, I do feel he is an outstanding talent. I’d like to see him on the left-hand side it felt last night that Saka was almost keeping it together on the right. On the left, we didn’t have a left-footed player, perhaps Saka should have played on the left… I hope he’s being challenged by the staff.”
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TIF Thoughts on Martin Keown’s comments about Gabriel Martinelli
There is no doubting that Martinelli has tremendous potential, with his goal against Chelsea last season being a pretty good example of how composed he is for such a young player, certainly more so than Alexandre Lacazette was against Slavia Prague. But he is being held back by Arteta this season, and it’s not as if you can use the excuse of him being ‘eased back’ from his injury at this stage of the campaign.
With their season close to being over, now is the time for Arteta to go for broke and throw him in, it’s clear that he can be a threat when called upon, but he can’t do it in such limited minutes. So hopefully the Spaniard heeds Keown’s words when it comes to making his team selection next week.