Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Gabriel Martinelli is very close to being available for selection for the first team.
The Brazilian suffered a knee injury in training in June which has kept him out of action for the last six months. He has recovered from his injury and is close to being back to full fitness. He played 45 minutes for the Arsenal Under-21 team in the Papa John’s EFL Trophy against AFC Wimbledon over ten days ago.
The 19-year-old has been training with the senior side and was not involved in the Arsenal Under-23 side’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City earlier today. This has led to some speculation that he could be involved in the Gunners’ Premier League match against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Martinelli joined Arsenal from Brazilian side Ituano in the summer of 2019 and enjoyed a breakthrough year in his debut season at the club. He became the first teenager to score ten goals for the North London side in a single season since Nicolas Anelka did the same over twenty years ago.
Speaking about Martinelli, Arteta said:
“Gabriel Martinelli is very close to being available and fit to be part of us as well, which is great news.”
“Gabi is pure enthusiasm, energy, belief, charisma and goals. And this is him. He’s around the training ground and he’s around our training sessions and the energy is different because he goes 100 miles per hour. He’s got this passion and his way of playing and he is a threat. He’s a player that we’ve been missing because he brings something special to the team. He’s contagious with his attitude and I think it’s going to be a big boost when we have him.”
The Gunners need Martinelli more than ever as they have scored just 11 goals in their first 13 Premier League games this season. Apart from being a goalscorer, he is capable of creating chances and is always one of the hardest-working players in the team. His return will do a world of good for the North London side as they look to revive their season.
Arsenal will be looking to win their first game in the Premier League in over six weeks when they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday.