Charles Watts believes that both Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes could be set to miss Arsenal’s opening matches of the new campaign.
The two have been named in Brazil’s provisional squad for the upcoming Olympics this summer, which could keep the pair in action for their country up until August 4.
With Arsenal likely to kick off their Premier League season on August 12, it would appear unlikely that either would be back with the squad in time, while their participation could well hamper their ability to participate during pre-season also.
Watts told his YouTube channel: “Brazil are going to be in the Olympics over in Tokyo. Gabriel and Gabriel Martinelli are included in that provisional squad. I’m not sure that squad’s been made official yet, but they’ve been included in the provisional squad and that’s a big, big deal, the Olympics – for the Brazilians, it always is. I think it’s two weeks – just before the season starts.
“The final’s on August 4th and the Premier League starts again on August 12th. So it’s not directly before, but you think, if you’ve been there in sort of a camp with the Brazilian squad for a couple of weeks, you’ve got to link up before that. You’d imagine if those two players play in the Olympics, they’re probably going to miss the start of the season for Arsenal.
“Because they might be a little bit way behind the work that Arsenal have done in London Colney during pre-season, it might be a little bit of an issue.”
Martinelli missed much of the previous campaign thanks to a knee injury, and will likely be targeting much more regular playing time in the coming season, but if his team-mates continue their fine form from the end of last term, he could well have a tough task on his hands.
The defender also didn’t have a routine season, after contracting Coronavirus hampered his run of games, and he will likely also be looking to enjoy a much more settled campaign