Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has claimed that the next months could be ‘Martinelli’s time’ to show what he can bring in a central role.
The Brazilian youngster has been deployed on the wing in recent weeks, and has been flourishing in his return to the first-team on a regular basis.
He has previously been claimed to be training for a role centrally however, doing shooting drills and taking on extra time at London Colney, and Alan Smith claims that he could well get his chance there in the coming months, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Folarin Balogun’s departures leaving just Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette as senior options in attack.
“It might just be Martinelli’s time,” Smith wrote in his column at Sky Sports.
“So far, he has been given a chance on the left and he has taken that chance. In order to be given an opportunity to play through the middle you have got to show you are in good form, you are fully fit and you are playing with confidence.
“He has done that so this could be a good time to move him inside.
“There is precedence there, famously Thierry Henry started on the wing and moved into the striker position to great effect.
“Arsenal’s formation and forward line can be quite fluid as well with a lot of interchanging of positions with Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard so it’s not like he will be positioned through the middle all the time.
“But it is certainly an option for Arteta and one he should not be afraid to have a look at.
“We have not seen enough of him through the middle yet and it is such a different challenge to playing out wide.”
It would certainly be an exciting opportunity for Martinelli, although I have to believe that Nketiah will likely be staking his claim to earn himself a more prominent role in the absence of his rivals.
Martinelli has been so good since returning to the first-team in recent months that it wouldn’t be a shock if he was given the chance there, especially with Emile Smith Rowe vying for a return to the starting line-up after being amongst our best players since the new season begun if not longer.
Would you like to see Martinelli given a role at CF? Do you believe that option could have appeased Arteta’s mind when considering his squad options whilst the transfer window was still open?