Why Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli must get more Premier League minutes
Background photo: Arsenal mjh, CC-BY-SA 2.0
If a striker can consistently score goals, a lot can be overlooked to ensure he gets on the field regularly. Fans won’t care if he’s too tall, too short or cost a thousand quid. They won’t mind if he can’t dribble opponents or make a good pass, either. Why should anyone care if he’s 18 or 30? Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli would like to hear your answer...
Arsenal has been lethargic and lukewarm this campaign, particularly in the Premier League. The Gunners have failed to get in gear and consistently string good results together. The effect has left Unai Emery riddled with wrinkles and a few grey hairs...
Two problems have continued to bedevil Arsenal – a leaky defence that simply can’t stop taking in goals and an attack that can’t seem to score the extra strike to help keep the Gunners afloat.
Whatever criticism headed in the direction of the Arsenal attack, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deserves an exemption. The Gabonese has poached seven goals in the 900 minutes of League football he’s played this term. There’s another Arsenal forward who’s scored as many goals as Auba this term - and he’s done it while playing fewer minutes than the Arsenal talisman.
Martinelli has plundered seven goals from the Europa League and EFL Cup. Those goals have come from a meagre 360 minutes of football in those competitions.
Arsenal's latest starlet is 18-year-old Brazilian talent still in the process of figuring out what top-flight football is all about. But the South American striker is consistently delivering a series of blistering performances every time he gets on the turf with the first team. Fans have rightly noticed and are calling for more.
Arsenal laid hands on Martinelli this year after catching wind of his sensational stats for Brazilian side Ituano.
Martinelli can feature as either an attacking midfielder or centre-forward. The youngster prefers to lead the line though. His numbers prove he’s a born scorer. Like a tiger perched on a tree ready to pounce on an impala, Martinelli knows how to take up killer positions in attack. It’s no surprise some of his goals have been tap-ins and near post headers and those are exactly what you’d expect from your striker.
Martinelli couldn’t have chosen a better time to break into the Arsenal first team. Bar Aubameyang, no striker has scored more for the Gunners than the 5’11’’ forward. Not even £72million man Nicolas Pepe.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, Auba’s strike partner Alexandre Lacazette isn’t at his best lately – largely due to injury. That should open the door for someone like Martinelli to come into the side and do well in the league. Unfortunately, it hasn’t. Martinelli has only seen 45 minutes of top-flight domestic action for the Gunners. Those minutes have been scattered across three games.
The Arsenal gaffer is a drowning man, his side seat fifth in the League table and another defeat could see them drop to 10th. Unfortunately, they’re up against some hungry Wolves next. Martinelli can provide an olive branch for Emery if given the chance he deserves. The young man can partner with Aubamenyang and produce some magic upfront.
18-year-old Bukayo Saka has started four league games for Arsenal and registered one assist. It’s time to see Martinelli starting league games, too.
Arsenal fans on social media have touted Martinelli to break Thierry Henry’s goal-record for the club and the kid certainly looks like he got it in him to achieve the feat. Albeit, that can only happen if he plays more games.
As much as Gabriel Martinelli deserves more time with the big boys, the weight of expectation on this lad should be minimal. Arsenal fans can be quite over-expectant which in end could become detrimental to the development of a young player.