Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has waxed lyrical about striker Gabriel Martinelli, with the young Brazilian on the verge of returning to first-team action.
Martinelli has been missing for some time, having suffered a knee injury earlier in the year. In his absence, although perhaps not directly linked to it, Arsenal have faltered considerably. They currently sit 15th in the Premier League, just five points clear of the relegation zone.
While Arsenal can hardly blame injury problems for their torrid campaign to date, having a fully fit squad is something that should always be strived towards, especially with fixture congestion as bad as it has ever been.
Martinelli has been side-lined for some time now, too long from Arsenal’s perspective, but having returned for their U-23 side, appears to be nearing his first appearance back for the first-team.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash with Everton, Arteta gave an update on just how much of an impact Martinelli could have upon returning to availability.
Speaking to the press (as shown by CaughtOffside on Twitter), Arteta said:
“Gabi, the spirit of enthusiasm, energy, belief, charisma and goals. And this is him. He’s around the training ground, he’s around the training session and the energy is different. Because he goes 100 miles an hour he’s got this passion this way of playing, and he’s a threat he’s a player that he’s been missing because he brings something special to the team. He’s contagious with his attitude and I think it’s gonna be a big plus for me to have him.”
“He’s contagious with his attitude and I think it’s gonna be a big plus for me to have him.”
It’s safe to say Mikel Arteta is happy to have Gabriel Martinelli on his way back to full fitness. pic.twitter.com/mILKyi1epZ
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) December 18, 2020