Gabriel Martinelli says he’s willing to take things step-by-step, but he’s very motivated to help Arsenal achieve their goals for the remainder of the season.
Gabriel Martinelli made his return to Arsenal first-team action over the weekend, coming off the bench for the final 19 minutes against Everton. The forward admits it’s great to be back playing again, after working so hard to recover before the end of 2020.
“The feeling of being back is the best possible,” Martinelli told Globo Esporte. “I am very happy to be able to do what I love most, which is playing football.
“When the injury was confirmed, I knew it would be a hard path to follow until this return, but I knew that with a lot of effort, willpower, and dedication I could return this year.
“I was living a good start at Arsenal and I will do everything to give my best on the pitch again. I know the return is gradual, one step after another, but I am very motivated to help Arsenal this season.”
It was a bit of a surprise to see Martinelli involved against Everton. All the reports suggested he would feature again with the u23s, but he missed Friday’s Premier League 2 clash to join the senior side instead. It’s a welcome boost for the squad, though.
Mikel Arteta has been keen to stress that we shouldn’t expect too much of Martinelli. The teenager is hardly Premier League proven, having only made six starts in the competition.
He’s had his moments, scoring against West Ham United, Sheffield United, and Chelsea in three of those starts, but Arsenal didn’t score a goal in the other three, so he’s still got work to do to prove he can be consistent with the side.
In Arsenal’s current state in the league games, I wouldn’t expect Martinelli to hit the ground running (so to speak). At the same time, his enthusiasm and work rate should at least help kick a couple of other players into gear.