Mikel Arteta explained to the media why Gabriel Martinelli hasn’t been starting games.

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 has played just 53 minutes of Premier League football from the last 10 games, prompting questions about his fitness.

Speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s game against Leeds United on Valentine’s Day, Mikel Arteta explained just what is going on:

Well, he came back and did really well, but then he picked up another injury,” Arteta said.

“It took him a while to come and now it’s about getting in his rhythm and getting his place in the team like anybody else. Don’t forget that we played him last time against Manchester United and he started ahead of other players, so it’s not like he’s not having the opportunities.

“We know that he’s got a huge potential and he’s done some really good things since he’s come back. He has a lot of things to develop in his game because of course at his age it’s normal.

So far this season, Martinelli has yet to hit the back of the net, picking up one assist from 361 minutes of football as he looks to get back to his pre-knee-injury form that saw him score 10 in his first season with Arsenal.