Gabriel Martinelli picked up a knee injury in training that required surgery but finally returned to first-team action for Arsenal on 19 December.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal looks dejected following his team's defeat in the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 19, 2020 in Liverpool, England. A limited number of fans (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 19: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal looks dejected following his team’s defeat in the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 19, 2020 in Liverpool, England. A limited number of fans (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Gabriel Martinelli came off the bench in Arsenal’s latest defeat, a surprise inclusion after only one run-out with the u23s.

He had been expected to play with the Academy side against Leicester on Friday night but when he wasn’t named in that squad we all hoped he would be included in the first-team squad, while simultaneously crossing everything we had that we weren’t rushing him back too quickly.

In all, the Brazilian played 19 minutes, plus the five added. In that time, he managed to get off a shot, something that’s not as easy as it sounds in this Arsenal team.

Before Saturday, Gabriel Martinelli last played for the Gunners on 2 March 2020 as Arsenal beat Portsmouth 2-0 at Fratton Park to make the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

The 19-year-old started that game and played the full 90 minutes and, in total, he started 15 games in his first season with Arsenal, playing the full 90 12 times.

After the game against Pompey, Martinelli picked up a cartilage problem in his left knee during training that required arthroscopic surgery to repair the lesion.

The procedure took place in the last week of June, nearly four months after his injury, indicating the club had hoped to avoid medical intervention.

Gabriel Martinelli after surgery
Gabriel Martinelli after surgery

Gabriel was still in a knee brace at the end of July and was not expected to return to full training until the end of 2020 with a return to playing action in 2021.

His early return has been a cherry on top of this sh*t cupcake of a year.

 

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I’ll be back stronger 💪🏻❤️

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Martinelli, if you missed it, has also launched his official Twitter account.

Speaking on TV while home in Brazil, Martinelli said, “On 21st June I got hurt in training and I had surgery and for a month I couldn’t even put my foot on the floor- but for the last week I have been able to. I’ve started to walk again, doing the basics and re-learning how to walk.”

Gabriel Martinelli interview

“I’m feeling very well, I’m regaining confidence and I can feel my knee is better,” Martinelli told Arsenal.com in October. “After an injury like this you are kind of scared to force the knee again but the past couple of weeks it has been fine and soon I can start training with the ball.

“I think we have an excellent squad and along with Mikel’s forward thinking and winning mentality we can carry on doing well.

“We are playing well and training well, everyone wants to win and we are all giving everything. I believe this season is very promising. We won trophies last season and I believe we can win this season again and also qualify for the Champions League.”

Gabriel Martinelli 19/20 stats

Gabriel Martinelli injury: When will he return?
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 18: Gabriel Martinelli has a shot on goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Martinelli arrived in the summer of 2019 and signed a new deal with the club at the start of July, 2020.

His new Arsenal deal reportedly takes him to 2024, with a club option to extend to 2025.

No-one predicted how quickly he would become a first-team regular, so his previous wages reflected that. Reports in early 2020 suggested he was ‘only’ earning £10,000-a-week.

It is believed Martinelli now earns £30kpw with his new Arsenal deal.

Here’s why:

Gabriel Martinelli 19/20 stats
Gabriel Martinelli 19/20 stats

Get all the latest Gabriel Martinelli news and updates right here

Gabriel Martinelli injury history

He’s still only young so Gabriel Martinelli’s injury history isn’t too lenghty. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  • 19/20 23 Dec 2019 – 3 Jan 2020: Hamstring injury, 3 games missed (11 days)
  • 19/20 20 Feb 2020 – 5 Feb 2020: Knock, 1 game missed (5 days)
  • 19/20-20/21 21 June 2020 – present: Knee, 33 games missed