Gabriel Martinelli opens up about severity of knee injury that ‘broke’ him
Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli has opened up about the severity of the knee injury that kept him from making the first team for nearly six months.
The much-loved youngster signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2019 and made an instant impact during the early stages of his career in north London.
He was praised by Jurgen Klopp after the Gunners’ 5-5 draw with Liverpool in the Carabao Cup in October 2019, and had recorded 10 goals and four assists in 26 appearances in all competitions before the lockdown.
However, Martinelli’s season was cut short in June when he injured his knee in training, which will leave him on the sidelines until December.
“I was about to receive the ball and felt a bit of pain in my knee,” Martinelli told the Daily Mail. “Not enough for me to stop training, but, as we were at the finish session, I told them I was in pain. They told me to rest and, if I felt pain the next day, to let them know.
“When I woke up I felt it but I was able to walk. I thought it was nothing at first, but it was a pain I had never felt before. I went to the club for the exams and they said it was not good and I would need surgery. It broke me. I cried a lot.”
Martinelli’s return to action has coincided with Arsenal’s resurgence in fortunes, with the 19-year-old starting the Gunners’ successive victories over Chelsea and West Brom. However, he admitted he will have to be patient when it comes to playing the full 90 minutes.
“Mikel spoke to me while I was recovering,” Martinelli added. “Always calling me to find out how I was, even when I returned to Brazil for a while in August. When the club needed me, he spoke to me again, asking me if I felt ready to play.
“I said yes. I still have a little pain in my knee, but the doctors say it’s okay. I haven’t been able to play 90 minutes yet, but it also takes time. My goal is to improve myself. and help Arsenal. “