Gabriel Martinelli is slipping further and further from first-team action it seems, and Kevin Campbell insists that his chances won’t come naturally at Arsenal.
The Brazilian youngster returned to pre-season late due to his time at the Olympics where his side lifted gold, but has been struggling to break into the manager’s first-team plans.
With just two appearances in our opening seven Premier League outings, the worry is that he is now firmly behind a number of rivals in the bid for first-team football, with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette vying for the one striker role, while Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe look to share the three roles in behind.
Then you throw in all of Folarin Balogun and Eddie Nketiah into the mix also who are working hard to earn minutes in similar roles also, and it is grim reading for Martinelli, who was rated as one of the hottest young talents when making his major breakthrough with the first-team in only his first season in England.
Reports are now linking the club with bringing in a proven goalscorer before next season, with Lacazette expected to leave due to his current contract ending next summer, and Kevin Campbell has warned that Gabi especially will need to step-up to the plate when he gets his chance, because time is not on his side.
“Martinelli is only 20,” Campbell told the Football Insider.
“He is still learning his trade. Arsenal cannot do wrong by signing a top, young international striker like Watkins or Calvert-Lewin.
“Lacazette will not be there next season. Martinelli will get his opportunities. The key is taking them.
“Nobody has time anymore. You will not get picked just because you are a young player who needs experience. You need to be doing the business to get on. Martinelli has to take his chance when it comes. That has been the case in football ever since I was a kid.
“There isn’t as many games this season with no European football so when the chance comes it is massively important that you make the most of it.”
Is it too soon to worry about Martinelli not making it at Arsenal? Would we regret allowing him to leave the club?