Gabriel Martinelli has been suffering less game time at the club in most parts of this season. Many believe that the stunning form of 19-year-old Bukayo Saka so far this season has affected the chances of the 19-year-old Brazilian youngster.
Saka mostly plays as a left midfielder but he is sometimes deployed on the left-wing. So far this season, he has proven to be one of the club’s most important players. He has played 24 league games in which he scored 5 goals and provided three assists. Saka has played 34 games in all competitions, scoring 6 goals and providing 7 assists.
While Gabriel Martinelli has managed to make just 5 Premier League appearances so far this season. He has played a total number of 9 games in all competitions and provided just an assist.
Besides the stunning rise of Saka at Arsenal, Gabriel Martinelli has found it almost impossible to break back into Arsenal’s squad after the knee injury he suffered earlier in the season.
“He [Martinelli] trains incredibly well every day,” Arteta said. “His attitude cannot be any better. He is disappointed he is not playing more obviously and I have spoken to him, but he needs to be a little bit patient.
“The competition for the front positions is very tough but he needs to be patient and he will get his chance.”
As it stands, Arsenal will face Olympiacos in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League later today, March 18, at 18:55 and Saka might not play due to a minor knock which means that Gabriel Martinelli could stand a chance of getting some action.
However, there is no guarantee on that yet as coach Mikel Arteta revealed ahead of the Europa League match that Saka would be good enough for the game.
“Hopefully everyone will be involved in the squad,” Arteta said. “[Saka] was doing another test and obviously he felt something muscular. But he’s been much, much better. We’ll make the decision this afternoon on what we’ll do.
“We have the opportunity to make changes, we have five substitutions, so we will decide the best team to try to beat them.”
Tonight, Arsenal are expected to finish the job they started in Greece where they won Olympiacos 3-1 in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16. The Greek team is coming to the Emirates Stadium to face the Gunners that would qualify for the next round of the competition if the Premier League club wins or draws their visitors.