Gabriel Martinelli has just revealed that Mikel Arteta was always in contact with him while he battled his long-term injury last year.
The Brazilian attacker has been one of Arsenal’s best players since he has been at the club.
He was injured during Project Restart in July last year, and he had to spend some months on the sideline.
He only returned to first-team football last month, and his return has made a good impact at Arsenal.
He was speaking about his time out recently and said that Arteta was always available to check up on him and see how well he was doing.
The Spaniard also wanted to ensure that he was ready to play before fielding him and asked about his readiness on his return from the layoff.
‘Mikel talked to me during my recovery,’ Martinelli tells Sportsmail. ‘Always calling me to know how I was, even when I returned to Brazil for a time in August. When the club needed me, he talked to me again, asking if I was feeling ready to play.
‘I said, yes. I still feel a bit of pain in the knee, but the doctors say that it is fine. I’ve not been able to play 90 minutes yet, but it also needs time. My focus is on getting better and helping Arsenal.’
Martinelli has played 3 league games and one EFL Cup match for the Gunners since his return. He will almost certainly see a lot more action in this second half of the campaign.