At a time when the likes of Aubameyang and Pepe’s futures are not clear, one thing seems certain, Martinelli could be the new face of Arsenal.
The youngster scored twice at Leeds to add to his goal against West Ham and his volley against Newcastle.
More impressive than that is his work rate.
I always find it hard to believe that it’s taken this long for Arteta to give him a run in the team as the player meets all the criteria that the manager demands.
He presses, defends from the front and isn’t afraid to take on his man.
Yet it’s only been this month where he’s been consistently starting in the League.
Before that when we needed goals at Brighton and Liverpool, he was an unused sub, at home to Palace he only came on when we went 2-1 down.
In the last two seasons some Gooners complained that the Brazilian was underutilised when we were knocked out of the Europa League.
Whether it’s protecting him because of niggling injuries or the player not meeting his ethos, Arteta has been reluctant to give the 20-year-old a run in the team.
It was getting to the point where I was worried that we would lose the youngster to another team because make no mistake, he’s too good to be sat on our bench.
If there’s one hope for the Gunners, it’s the youngsters we have. While they still need support from their senior peers someone like Martinelli could develop into a mega star.
Sometime timing is everything though.
His form has coincided with Auba being dropped.
While that’s for non-footballing reasons, it’s very hard not to compare Martinelli’s work rate with his ex-skipper.
That’s why Martinelli is a fan favourite. Because supporters only ever ask that a player fights for the shirt and gives 100 percent effort.
He plays in a manner fans can relate too. He plays like he cares.
His brace at Elland Road will support the narrative that we need to move on from our ex-skipper and carry on building round youth.
In reality it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
Good man management will make Auba happy and confident again and he can complement Martinelli.
There’s a lot of things that divide our fanbase.
One of the things we can universally agree on though is Martinelli could be our future.
A World Cup is a year away. How he copes with any added scrutiny from a good tournament with Brazil will depend on having the correct support network around him.
Attention going to his head, or a serious injury, is only way he won’t make it to the very top.
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