Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed what Gabriel Martinelli used to do every time he was dropped from the starting XI over the last two years.
Arteta used to receive a lot of stick from Arsenal supporters when he would regularly leave Martinelli on the bench. The Arsenal boss was arguably a bit too cautious then, but he fully trusts the young Brazilian now.
Mikel Arteta: Gabriel Martinelli showed me how wrong I was to drop him
In his press conference yesterday, Arteta was asked about Martinelli’s lack of opportunities at times over the last two seasons. The Brazilian apparently convinced the Arsenal boss that he was wrong to drop him.
Arteta said, as per Goal: “When he wasn’t playing, he was all the time in my office and every time showing me on the pitch how wrong I was.
“And, (from) the moment that we agreed that he was ready to do it, the way he has improved, the way he is helping the team and still the room for improvement he has is phenomenal.”
When asked about the conversations in his office, Arteta said: “He’s just a sad boy (when he’s not playing).
“He loves what he does, he’s so eager to do whatever it takes for him to play that he’s all the time there, pushing you and giving you the right reasons to give him more minutes.
“It’s just a joy to watch the freedom and personality that he plays with.”
Martinelli has been one of Arsenal’s most exciting players since he joined the club. However, he has taken his game to a whole new level this season.
After a really impressive pre-season campaign, Martinelli scored Arsenal’s first goal of the season in their win against Crystal Palace on the opening day. The Brazilian has added two more since, and he’s one of Arteta’s biggest assets in attack at the moment.
Arsenal take on Manchester United tomorrow in what is arguably their toughest test of the season yet. The Gunners have won all five of their games so far and are on top of the league table.
Martinelli is almost certain to start on the left flank for Arsenal at Old Trafford tomorrow, and if he can continue his form, Arteta’s men will back themselves to pick up all three points.