Mikel Arteta provides update on Gabriel Martinelli’s injuries
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta downplayed injury fears over returning winger Gabriel Martinelli, who was forced to leave early in the second half against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-final in the first senior start of his comeback after a long-lasting knee problem.
Having already played 45 minutes for the Under-23 team in the EFL Trophy and just under 20 minutes as a substitute in Saturday’s Premier League loss to Everton, Martinelli started Tuesday’s game for Arsenal and looked lively in the first half.
The young Brazilian scored an assist to equalize Alexandre Lacazette’s first half, but the Gunners collapsed shortly after his withdrawal and lost 4-1.
Martinelli, who scored ten goals in all competitions in his first season, had been absent for six months following cartilage damage suffered in training during “Project Restart”. But Arteta quickly stepped in to allay fears of a relapse, explaining that after the game it was just an impact shot.
“It was just a really bad kick to the shin and it was swelling and he couldn’t continue,” the boss explained, via Arsenal.com.
“[At half-time] he was pushing, he said he was doing quite well, that he wanted to continue. He had a scar that was not open and he wanted to try, so we gave him the opportunity to try and when he was in the field he was uncomfortable so it was an easy decision to remove it.
Martinelli was a brilliant spark and a rare highlight for Arsenal on another otherwise difficult night for the club and Arteta was pleased with what he saw of a player still so young and raw.
“He has a unique energy and a way to convey his passion for the game. He plays the game in a different way than any other player. It’s hard to compare it, but what I have to say is it’s great to see it again. », Continued the Spaniard under pressure.
“Bringing this experience, this fight… playing against this opponent after such a long period of absence, like he did in the first half, is something to be very proud and happy about.”
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