Mikel Arteta admitted that the injury suffered by Gabriel Martinelli in preparation for the Arsenal FA Cup clash with Newcastle “didn’t look good”.
The 19-year-old was due to start the third round draw at Emirates Stadium in an attempt to boost his fitness after being ruled out for several months with a knee ligament injury.
But the Brazilian fell before a ball was kicked and appeared in obvious pain as he was helped from the pitch in tears. Martinelli will undergo an ankle scan in the next few days to check the severity of the latest hit, but Arteta’s tone suggested the outlook could be bleak.
“I’m gutted,” Arteta confessed after the match, quoted by The Independent. “I was in my office before the game and one of the coaches came in and told me Gabi had injured himself, he had twisted his ankle.
“I went to the doctor’s office and he was in tears. He was in a lot of pain and we’ll have to see how he’s doing. It didn’t look good. I guess we’re not going to have good news with him.
“We really want to know what’s going on. He’s a character and he wants to play. He doesn’t care and can take the pain but I don’t know. Hope there is nothing too serious but to begin with it is not. looks too good. “
One bright spot for Arteta, and Arsenal as a whole, was young attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe’s performance against Steve Bruce’s Magpies. The young attacking midfielder came off the bench to lead the Gunners to victory in extra time, which turned out to be the difference in what had otherwise been another strenuous performance at home.
“He has huge potential, he really wants it and he has the personality when he goes on the pitch to express and play the way he can play,” Arteta admitted of Smith Rowe (via Sky Sports).
“Doing it consistently is a different thing. The boys you mentioned did. It is true that they are ahead of their development phase as they play a lot more games and minutes in the last two seasons.
“But he is able to do it. If he’s going to do it? It depends on how he continues to develop, how he takes the chance he has in front of him and how much we can help him get there. “