Mikel Arteta has claimed it’s his fault that Gabriel Martinelli has not been afforded a run in the Arsenal first team and has assured the youngster his chance will come.
Since moving to north London in 2019 the highly-rated forward has made just 19 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, ten of which have come from the bench.
Injuries have severely hampered the Brazilian’s bid to stake a claim in the Arsenal starting XI, with one bad knee injury in particular ruling him out for six months.
Having returned to full fitness earlier this season Martinelli has still found himself on the fringes of first-team action, and Arteta has blamed himself for the 19-year-old’s lack of involvement in the matchday squad.
“If anything it’s my fault,” he said at his press conference ahead of the Europa League second leg against Olympiacos, as reported by football.london. “He’s done everything perfect, he trains incredibly well every day, his attitude couldn’t be better.
“He’s really disappointed that he’s not playing more obviously having spoken to him, but he needs to be a little bit patient.”
Despite conceding the teenager hadn’t been afforded a fair chance in the Arsenal first team, Arteta went on to add that Martinelli had been given some game time this season, though the competition for places in the Gunners frontline has meant he’s struggled to fit the Brazilian in at times.
“He’s had some minutes and games as well,” he added. “It’s true that the competition for the front positions is very tough. He needs to be patient and he will get his chance.”
Martinelli will be hoping to become a more regular member of Arsenal’s matchday squad as they continue to fight on two fronts.
Arteta’s side are still in with a shot of European qualification via the Premier League despite a wretched campaign so far, while their 3-1 first leg victory away against the Greek side means they are on course for the last eight of the Europa League, with a Champions League spot up for grabs should they win the competition.