Mikel Arteta has given the latest on Gabriel Martinelli after the youngster was forced to go off in the Gunners’ defeat to Manchester City.
Mikel Arteta was optimistic about Gabriel Martinelli after the youngster went off against Manchester City with yet another injury.
The 19-year-old only just returned from a six-month lay-off and Mikel Arteta had warned fans not to expect ‘too much’ from the teenager.
Martinelli was the only gloss on the evening as the Gunners suffered a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Manchester City that sent them crashing out of the Carabao Cup.
The teenager produced the assist for Alexandre Lacazette’s equalizer at the time and looked like the only Arsenal player with a cutting edge in attack.
Martinelli looked poised to make an impact on the game until he collided with City goalkeeper Zack Steffen just before half time.
Ignoring the pain, the Brazilian re-appeared for the second half but lasted just three minutes and had to be replaced by Nicolas Pepe.
There were fears it could be another ‘long-term’ injury on the cards but Mikel Arteta calmed those thoughts with an update after the match.
“It was just a really bad kick on his shin and it was swelling up and he could not continue,” Arteta said on Martinelli after the game as per the club’s website.
“[At half-time] he was pushing, he was saying he was completely fine, that he wanted to carry on. He had a scar that wasn’t open and he wanted to try, so we gave him the opportunity to try and when he was on the pitch he was uncomfortable so it was an easy decision to take him off.
“Martinelli has a unique energy and a way to transmit his passion for the game,” Arteta added.
“He plays the game in a different way to any other player. It’s hard to compare him, but what I have to say is that it’s great to have him back.
“To bring that experience, that fight… to play against this opponent after such a long time out, in the way he did in the first half, it’s something to be really proud and happy about.”