The highly-rated Brazilian youngster has only made nine appearances across all competitions for Arsenal this season.
Gabriel Martinelli needs to ‘keep working and making it difficult for us’, says Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after being left as an unused substitute in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Leicester City.
The 19-year-old forward has struggled to build on his promising debut campaign following a long-term knee injury. He has struggled for fitness ever since, making only five appearances in the Premier League and nine across all competitions.
Arteta has left Martinelli benched in each of Arsenal’s last five league games. But he remains convinced of the Brazilian’s potential and urged him to make selection calls tough for him.
“Well, he needs to keep working and making it difficult for us,” said Arteta in a post-match conference on whether Martinelli’s injury record has played a role in his lack of game time.
“He is a player that is going to give us a lot, but we need some time to find the right games for him and the right connections with him on the pitch so that he can do what he does best.
“But the way he is and the way he trains every day, he is going to be a really important player for us, no doubt.
“But, when you have many options, it is difficult when you look for certain qualities in certain games.”
Martinelli will hope to get a chance in Arsenal’s trip to Burnley on Saturday for their next Premier League match.