Martin Keown is full of praise for Gabriel Martinelli after the teenager earned a long-overdue recall to the Arsenal team and says he should remain in the lineup now.
Martinelli has been one of the bright players at Arsenal in the last two campaigns.
He suffered a long-term injury towards the end of last season and has only just returned to full fitness.
He has been missing from the Arsenal team since his return and fans have been calling for him to play.
Mikel Arteta started the teenager in the game against Sheffield United and he repaid the decision with a fine all-round display and a goal.
The attacker will hope to retain his place in the team for Arsenal’s game against Slavia Prague.
Speaking on BT Sport via Mail Sport, Keown stated that he has been clamouring for the attacker to be in the team and says he has shown he deserves a place in it.
‘I’ve almost felt like I’ve been signing a petition to get him (Martinelli) in the team. He’s a great talent,’ Keown said.
‘We have to look at it and say ok, has there been any underlying injury? Are there other reasons why he’s not been in the team? But now he’s in the team, I think he vindicates that selection and he should stay in the team.
‘I don’t think you can take him out now.’