Everyone has been talking about the brilliant energy and skill of the young Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli ever since his arrival at Arsenal this summer, but he was looking very listless against Olympiacos in midweek, which has his worst game ever for us in my opinion.
So yesterday, Gabriel wasn’t even in the squad to face Everton, and Bukayo Saka was given a rest on the bench, although that didn’t last long as he had to replace the injured Kolasinac quite early.
But the one youngster that was selected to start was Eddie Nketiah, who has been rather anonymous since he came back from his Leeds loan until this week, but he has now scored twice for us and hit the bar in his last two games as well. He has obviously been impressing Arteta in training lately.
He combined well with Saka to get our all-important equalising goal against Everton yesterday and he was very “happy and proud” on Arsenal.com after the game. “It obviously makes us very happy and proud. We’re working very hard and Saka’s a great player and he’s in great form. I’m working hard and doing well myself, so we’ve got a good understand and we’ve been playing for a while together. I knew he was going to whip it into the dangerous area and I just tried my best to run in there and get on the end of it.”
He also took the chance to praise Mikel Arteta for giving every single player the chance to impress. “He’s great, he’s given us a lot of opportunities and he’s showed us that if you work hard in training, it doesn’t matter how old you are, he’ll give you the chance if he thinks you deserve it. It’s great for a young player to know that the manager is confident in us and has belief in us and it’s just about working hard each day and improving with each game and that’s what we’re doing.”
We previously mused about whether Martinelli would be the loser of Nketiah not going out on loan again, but it now looks like Arteta will be happy to make use of all our youngsters whenever he gets the chance. They certainly deserve it!