After spending a number of months on the sidelines, Arsenal youngster Gabriel Martinelli returned to full-time action on Tuesday night.
Gabriel Martinelli has given Arsenal a very welcome attacking boost after returning to the pitch from a six-month layoff
The Brazilian forward featured for the Gunners’ Under-21 side on Tuesday night in their Papa John’s Trophy clash with AFC Wimbledon. He was in the starting lineup and played 45 minutes before he was withdrawn at half-time.
Arsenal U21 went on to lose the game 3-0 to their League One opponents but the shining light to the game was the return of Martinelli.
The teenager has been out of action since March after a knee injury in June. It came just as the 19-year-old was establishing himself as an important first-team player in Mikel Arteta’s side.
Martinelli scored 10 goals in all competitions last season. In comparison to the Gunners’ current struggles, it is as many as Arsenal have managed as a team in the Premier League after 11 games in the current campaign.
Despite the defeat for the Arsenal U21, the highly-rated youngster took to Twitter to express his joy at getting back on the pitch.
“It was a great feeling to get minutes tonight” Martinelli wrote.
“Huge thanks to the medical and physio teams for their fantastic work and to the fans for the amazing support during my long recovery”
It might still take a couple more weeks before Martinelli is ready for first-team action but his potential return would be very much welcome by Mikel Arteta.