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Arteta takes blame for Martinelli’s lack of minutes

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Gabriel Martinelli has found game-time hard to come by at Arsenal this season. Mikel Arteta has accepted responsibility for that.

Mikel Arteta has taken the blame for Martinelli, accepting that the youngster’s lack of minutes at the club is completely his fault.

Compared to the last season, the talented Brazilian has struggled for game-time this term, and injury concerns haven’t helped him either.

Martinelli made his long-awaited return from injury in December after missing the first half of the season, but has only played five Premier League matches without contributing a single goal or assist. Most of those appearances have come from little cameos off the bench.

In fact, the 19-year-old has only totaled 374 minutes of action for Arsenal across all competitions this season.

For a player who hit double digits in goals in his debut season at the club, many of the club’s supporters have been left puzzled regarding his lack of game time.

Mikel Arteta addressed the situation and took responsibility for it all.

Speaking to the club’s website, the Gunners boss said: “No, if anything it’s my fault, he has done everything perfect, he trains incredibly well every day, his attitude cannot be any better, he is disappointed he is not playing more obviously and I have spoken to him, but he needs to be a little bit patient. He had some minutes, he had some games as well and it’s true the competition for the front positions is very tough but he needs to be patient and he will get his chance.”

“It’s a good time for everybody, it is a really important game for us, nothing has been decided – there is still another 90 minutes at least to play for and we know it is going to be tough and everyone has to be ready. We have the opportunity to make changes, we have five substitutions so we will decide the best team to try to beat them.”

Arsenal have one foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, and Martinelli could be handed game time in the second-leg fixture at the Emirates on Thursday night.

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