Jack Wilshere has admitted he was surprised with how Mikel Arteta chose to use Gabriel Martinelli, or, to be more accurate, how he didn’t, last season.
Gabriel Martinelli exploded onto the Arsenal scene in his debut season but the knee injury suffered by the Brazilian 14 league games after Mikel Arteta’s arrival saw his Arsenal career come to a shuddering halt, despite scoring in two of the three league games he was given a start in.
After returning from that injury, Martinelli struggled to make headway in Arteta’s squad, playing 90 minutes in the league just once last season and starting just seven.
Wilshere told Highbury Squad: “I was surprised at times when Arsenal needed a goal, they needed something and he wasn’t thrown on.
“He is that type of player who can do that. He arrives in the box.
“He always seems to be in the right place, at the right time. You cannot teach them things.
“I feel he will only get better with experience of playing in the big games,” Wilshere added.
“I do think he is a player who will thrive off having the fans back.
“I remember the game at Chelsea when he scored that goal. He just got better and better as the game went on and the fans got behind him.
“I am excited to see more of him.”
Wilshere signed for Bournemouth in January after being released by West Ham in October and spending a few months without a club, a place he finds himself once again as the Cherries released him at the end of the season.
The midfielder, who is now 29, made 18 appearances for Bournemouth in his second spell there, starting nine and playing the full 90 just once. He scored two and grabbed one assist.
Wilshere didn’t suffer one injury during his short spell back on the south coast.