The teenage Brazilian winger was a constant bright spark for the Gunners last term in what was otherwise a dreary campaign.
Gabriel Martinelli is ‘very close’ to returning to action for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta confirmed on Friday.
The 19-year-old quickly become a fan favorite at the Emirates after arriving from Ituano, hitting 10 goals in 26 appearances across all competitions in his breakthrough season in 2019-20.
A serious knee injury suffered in training ahead of Project Restart back in June then proved a major stumbling block in his development.
It has been nine months since he last stepped on the pitch with the senior team but now it is not long before the forward regains full fitness.
Earlier this month, Martinelli played with the club’s U-23s in Papa John’s Trophy, and his manager cannot wait to ham him back in his senior squad.
“Gabi is pure enthusiasm, energy, belief, charisma, and goals. He’s around the training ground and he’s around our training sessions and the energy is different because he goes 100 miles per hour.
“He’s got this passion and his way of playing and he is a threat. He’s a player that we’ve been missing because he brings something special to the team.
“He’s contagious with his attitude and I think it’s going to be a big boost when we have him.”