Why Gabriel Martinelli Must Start Against Sheffield United

Since Mikel Arteta’s arrival, Reiss Nelson has received more gametime than any other youngster at Arsenal and has been afforded the opportunity to steadily improve his form. That was due to his skillset and ability to stay out wide in order to stretch the opponent’s defense line which Arteta found very useful to his attacking philosophy. But with Nicolas Pépé’s regaining a place in the attacking lineup, the Hale-End product has had to sit it out.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s red card on Saturday against Crystal Palace has improved the odds of Reiss Nelson coming back into the lineup, the reasoning being that the youngster has pretty much adapted to Arteta’s demands and has managed to look less worse than he previously had under Unai Emery. But the argument is narrow and lacking nuance.

It isn’t anyone else who got injured but the outright leading goal threat in the team. Aubameyang has scored nearly 50% of all Premier League goals for Arsenal this season. His absence significantly reduces Arsenal’s goalscoring ability and Reiss Nelson is simply not the best like for like replacement available.

Enter Gabriel Martinelli, the freescoring teenage striker-cum-winger. Potentially able to slot into the same inside forward role as Aubameyang under Arteta and very much Premier League capable, it would be a gamble to not unleash the Brazilian against Sheffield United on the weekend. With a goal and an assist recorded already in the EPL and 8 more goal contributions in other competitions, Martinelli represents more of a direct goal threat than Reiss Nelson.

If his limited minutes on the pitch against Crystal Palace was an audition, then Martinelli passed with flying colours as he repeatedly threatened the Eagles’ unsuspecting defence and created the chance which Pépé struck against the upright pole.

Ahead of the game against Sheffield United, it seemed as though Arteta was issuing a challenge to the 18-year-old. “You come on there, you make the impact that he made and you assure me that you are as good as him or even better. You have the chance.” the Boss said.

Driven and energetic, Gabriel Martinelli fits like a glove into Arteta’s pressing scheme and it would be surprising if the youngster doesn’t earn a deserved starting place at the Emirates over any other person.

Agboola Israel


  1. gotanidea says:

    I predict both Martinelli and Nelson would start against Sheffield

    1. Sylva Olabanji says:

      That would be nice. Pep can come in as substitute If Nelson performance drops.

  2. Stephan Luc Larose says:

    Martinelli so aggressive, driven and talented. Exciting to watch! Hope he gets a start vs. Sheffield U. Would be awesome to see Nketiah get a little time on the pitch as well!

  3. Shakir says:

    Martinelli will start,he is a natural LW and can play the role of auba.
    And saka will have to play LB as i hear kola is injured

    And not sure if MA will change the formation,if so i would love to see a 4312
    Play martinelli and pepe as strikers and as they are natural wingers they can stretch the defence.
    Play ozil behind them
    Play ceballos and xhaka as CMs(A diamond)and torreira at the base.
    This will also give oppurtunity for the fullbacks to go forward as the CMs can cover for them.
    Much more creativity.
    And as Laca is out of form,will give it a try.

    1. Jah son says:

      Very good argument.
      But question to ask yourself is Pepe are Martinelli on form.
      If you’re answer is no then best to go for experience.

      1. Shakir says:

        I would say martinelli is in form,he has been good whenever hes given the ball.

        But pepe is inconsistent,maybe still adapting but martinelli was from another league too.But you know what my brain says try someone else but my heart says pepe.#confused


    yes ooo ooo

  5. Mogunna says:

    Arteta will stick with team he has in mind for a minute, replace Auba by Martinelli or Nelson who can play on both flanks.

    That’s main difference with Emery, know what to expect from players as well but mainly coach’s strategy must make sense, to players first or they try and get frustrated with same negative result.

    They all then get low ratings and criticism; not anymore! Losing their passion and spirit, looking lost on pitch. They were divided, Ozil pressured to leave, Xhaka picked as Captain over him, resulting in total mess.

    Auba named captain in order to have him sign a new deal only. Laca was there before, if Ozil is not, it should have been him before Auba; he was and more of leader, we all bowed for then; as our best overall player!

    For him to not perform at his true level reflects his spirit; affected by all that mess since season start. Of course I would not be happy to see Xhaka captain over me, then Auba!

    If Auba leaves as predicted, then what. He is out 3 games, who will be captain?

    Xhaka who was kicked out, or Ozil snobbed for him? Or will it be Luiz? I will be even more affacted if I’m Laca but he should dont give a crap and play his game and role in team! That’s all Kroenke mess, starting by trying to get rid of Ozil, save money, to keep.

    Think Arteta gots what Wenger had to deal with, so Emery did on last transfer window; requested Maguire, Partey and Zaha to improve team!

    He must focus on team and move forward as a unit, have fans back in spirit and support team, get back our club spirit & football identity!

    Niles Sokra Luiz Saka
    Torreira Xhaka
    Pepe Laca Martinelli/Nelson

    1. Gir says:

      Edit: Agboola Israel

  6. Jim wall says:

    Amn. Sok. Luiz. Saka

    Torreer. Xakai

    Martinelle pepe

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