Martinelli preparing to play in a new role at Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli is one of the most talented players at Arsenal at this moment.

The Brazilian attacker remains a firm fans’ favourite after his fine performances for the Gunners.

He has had more chances to play recently after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left the club. Can he replace the former Arsenal captain?

The former Ituano man usually plays from the left side of the attack, helping him to cut inside to shoot with his right foot or cross balls for others to score.

However, that role could change soon, with a report claiming he is being trained for another position.

The Daily Mail says Mikel Arteta is using him as a number 9 in training.

The departure of Auba has made Arsenal short of options in that department, and Alexandre Lacazette is not scoring enough.

Just Arsenal Opinion

Martinelli is still just 20 and shouldn’t focus on one position on the field just yet.

Now is the time for him to try out other roles and develop himself to fit in wherever he is needed in the Arsenal attack.

Arteta is doing the right thing in trying him as a number 9. It could become his best position in the long term.

However, if he is not the solution there, we should sign an accomplished striker to add to Arteta’s squad.

Mikel Arteta discusses the Wolves win, referees and red cards

Tags Gabriel Martinelli


  1. He has also played as a number 9 for Ituano according to an interview he gave just after signing for The Arsenal, but prefers to play out wide on the left. Hopefully Arteta can work his magic on him like he did with Sane and Sterling at City.

    1. On 12 July 2015, a deal was agreed for his transfer to Manchester City for an initial £44 million, with a further potential £5 million in add-ons for Sterling

    2. ESR & Saka out wide and Marts in the centre worth the effort rather than Laca wasting opportunities match after match. Mikel can work his little magic here too. He trained his defenders to keep cleans sheets even when down to 10 men. If that is not magic, what is magic then? Being drubbed 6+ goals?

  2. It would be good to have Emile back at the left as I prefer him, I know everybody would not like this but I find Emile a better player and gets the best of Tierney when he plays there. He also helps more in the creative side so yeah Martinelli up front sounds great.

    1. Yes Henry did move into a central role, but from an early age he was a CF. He has only moved out wide after Wenger was sacked at Monaco.

  3. Why shift Martinelli to a 9 if we are getting a new striker in the Summer?

    Leave him on LW to develop further and start rather than being a backup striker.

    No chance he’ll be our starting striker next year, but he’s locked in on the LW, so why fix what isn’t broken?

    1. just about to write the exact same post Durand…I get that it’s definitely time for ESR to see more significant minutes again, but it shouldn’t be done if it’s going to negatively impact the developmental process for Marts, who’s been preforming admirably out wide left…it certainly wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine MA actually attempting to shoehorn two players so that he doesn’t have to display some tactically flexibility and/or have to put Xhaka and/or Ode on the bench…we saw this same dynamic at work when Willian was wrongly brought into the fold, then once again when Ode came from Real on loan last January…of course, nothing has happened in this regards thus far, but I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if this did materialize, especially if recent history is any indication of future behaviour

  4. Worth a try, he has played down the middle for us before when Emery was in charge albeit mainly in the Europa and League cup and scored goals. Even Pepe would be a good shout with him being arguably our best finisher currently at the club, only thing is he doesn’t always protect the ball well enough.

  5. Let them try him. I firmly believe it’s going to work perfectly. That’s football. Look at Nku Nku from CM to AM and then to LW and and even CF is still performing his magic with unthinkable goals.
    Martinelli is a very smart guy. He will make us smile as CF. Look at the goals Lacazette missed against Wolves. That was horrible

  6. If Laca or Eddie isn’t scoring plus they are leaving in the summer then they should be the back up as they have 3 league goals between them…

    Pepe is the best finisher at the club so try a false 9 with him or Martinelli, but I’d prefer Gabi stays out wide as he is putting in the performaces out wide. If he can transition during a match to CF could be an idea to use him in both positions when needed.

    Smithrowe goes out Left, Martinelli goes up Top with Saka out the other wing & Øde behind. Would like to see that line up for last 20mins or so and give it a go to see.

    Laca will start though as he brings everyone else into play with his hold up (false9role). He needs to start scoring ASAP

  7. Moving him to CF now would mean benching Lacs,sadly we don’t have anyone who can do what he does for the team better,for now that is.

  8. So what exactly does Laca do for the team? Miss chances? Yes, open up play for others? No. Hold up play? No. Score lots of goals? No. Are you joking!

    1. Yes, he opens play up for others, holds it up reasonably well and gets in good positions. We scored against wolves partly because he fought for the ball, when others would have let the gk have it.
      Someone remarked in the comments during the game something like “why wasn’t auba getting chances when he was here, but now they’re falling for laca?” – it’s because laca helps open the team up and makes space for others.
      His finishing has been bad recently and very inconsistent during his time at arsenal overall, but next time he could put those chances away, or they might fall for someone else. He’s the best we’ve got until the end of the season. Deserves a bit more appreciation imo.

      1. you’re misrepresenting my comments regarding service to Auba versus Laca, as it’s a far more nuanced situation…Auba is the kind of Striker who hasn’t traditionally played with his back to goal, but instead leads the line and requires a more direct brand of football in order to be successful, whereas Laca will come farther up the pitch, with his back to goal, and try to link up others then follow the play, thereby he usually gets into the box late, which is where he usually finds his pockets of space

        the fact remains that our slower developing possession-based offensive scheme usually left Auba sandwiched between the two CBs with his back to goal, which made functionally no sense…even when he received some service just outside the top of the box, we don’t devote enough players into the box, whether for link-up play or for the purposes of making dummy runs to open up space, so it left Auba constantly facing double-teams in tighter spaces

        in previous seasons, even when we weren’t playing more direct passes, at least we would create enough movement off the ball that Auba would get good goal-scoring opportunities at the front left edge of the box, which is where he potted a lot of his goals from in the previous 2 seasons…not too dissimilar from the Sanchez years when players would purposely drag defenders away with their movement and he would get 18 and 20 footer shots from that position and curl them into the top right hand corner

        btw Laca doesn’t really open up spaces for others that often, as he’s defended quite differently than Auba, largely due to his size and late box entry…now Laca is a better player with the ball at his feet further up the pitch, but to compare him to someone who usually occupies much more advanced positions, during build-up play, is a bit disingenuous

    2. “Miss chances/doesn’t score goals/doesn’t score a lot goal”I’m pretty sure that “he doesn’t score goals”would have sufficed,instead of making the same point X times over.yes he does hold up the play maybe not to the standard needed,he also links up play,if we had players better at progressing the ball,he wouldn’t have to drop back so deep to get the ball and what does it do with the ball?he links up with the other fowards or even with the LB when he overlaps,but this is not the only reason he does it,by dropping back he takes a defender with him(usually a CB) which effectively opens up the play.there you have it.

  9. Time to take stock. Lacazette is a loyal Arsenal servant but has never been a prolific striker for us. He never will be. Nketiah flatters to deceive. And they are both likely to leave in the summer! It seems to me that Martinelli and Pepe are super-talented and should both play and vie for the No. 9 slot. Saka and Odegaard and ESR should also be in the same starting 11. It is all so obvious, isn’t it? Or am I missing something? Terry

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