Farewell Gabriel Martinelli
By Vuyo Mataka
On the 2nd of July 2019, Arsenal brought in a young winger from a club in Brazil’s fourth division, Ituano. This player came in for a small fee and was considered to be a prospect that would develop into a future Arsenal first team player. His debut season did not play out the way we thought it would go. He went from a prospect to a pivotal player for the team. His high energy and persistence on the left reminds us of a younger Alexis Sanchez. His goal contribution and consistently high level of performances won over the hearts of the fans.
He has went on to earning his first international cap with Brazil to winning an Olympic gold medal. We have seen him grow from a young man from Brazil with a lot of promise to a rising star destined to be a starter for Arsenal. Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending. Gabriel Martinelli is not the starter is not we thought we would be.
With limited minutes and unimpressive performances, Gabriel looks like a shell of his former self. The longer he is at Arsenal not getting the minutes he needs to prove himself, we will end up with a dispirited and frustrated player on our hands. Gabriel’s withdrawal from the squad was not his fault, injury hampered his progress and with his growing absence, other players moved up the pecking order. With Arsenal not having any European football, Gabriel does not have many opportunities to force himself back into the team again.
With him having two years left on his contract at the end of the season, the club need to see if they offer him an extension or sell him so he can shine abroad. The young Brazilian is a great talent but he does not fit into Arteta’s plans and his presence would prevent the likes of Taylor-Hart and Hutchinson from getting their first team opportunities. It will be sad seeing him go, but it might be time for the young winger from the Brazil to leave the nest and let his career take flight at a new club…
Watch this week’s Just Arsenal Show – Video Analysis – Dan Smith rates the Arsenal players out of 10 this season