Mikel Arteta must trust Gabriel Martinelli against Villarreal

Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy (left) and Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli battle for the ball during t

Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy (left) and Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli battle for the ball during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Issue date: Sunday May 2, 2021. - Credit: PA

Arsenal fans have been calling for Gabriel Martinelli to start ever since his return from injury.

Mikel Arteta has persistently left him out of the eleven despite countless impressive cameos.  

The 2-1 loss to Villarreal last Thursday indicated the lack of drive and commitment going forward. It took a controversial penalty from Nicolas Pepe to salvage any hope for the second leg. 

It was a miserable performance that lacked the oppositions fear and respect.

The Spanish side were not scared of Arsenal. The club from N7 have lost the identity of a stern, solid group of players. This is it for Arsenal.


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Lose to Villarreal and European football will vanish for Gooners for the first time in over 20 years.  

Newcastle United's Federico Fernandez, Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli and Newcastle United's Jacob Mur

Newcastle United's Federico Fernandez, Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli and Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy (left-right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Issue date: Sunday May 2, 2021. - Credit: PA

It was no shock to see Martinelli impress three days later when his assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ensured a 2-0 win against Newcastle.  

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The skipper didn’t take long to praise the “incredible” winger, who staked another claim to be in the starting line-up for Arsenal week in, week out. Playing on either flank, through the middle or in the traditional number 10, Arteta must play the Brazilian against Unai Emery’s boys in midweek.  

His youthful, fearless and never say die attitude is a compliment to his attitude and mentality, despite continuously being left out.  

He has only played 11 games this season, 510 minutes to be precise.

With only a handful of games left this season, the gaffer must answer the fans in starting the 19-year-old. 

The balance of the side when Martinelli is present continues to be noticeable.

The club have put a lot of faith in him, they have a high expectancy for his future. 

How long does he continue to accept being a rotational player? 

Worst case scenario: he gets fed up, voices his discontent, puts negative media attention on the club before packing his bags.

This can be prevented if Arteta trusts his prospective forward. 

Hale End graduates have been the most important, exciting part of a somewhat abysmal season.

For the first time in a long time, the club has a bunch of players under the age of 21 who are destined for superb careers.  

Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have excelled after being given the chance to prove their ability.

It is rather exciting to dream of Martinelli in the mix, three players under the age of 21 who consistently play for Arsenal

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