Arteta explains Martinelli transfer plan as Arsenal forward struggles for game time –

The Brazilian youngster has made just two Premier League appearances this season, but his manager’s says he is still part of his long-term plans

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has no intention of sending Gabriel Martinelli on loan in the January transfer window, with the Brazilian part of his plans despite a lack of game time this season.

The 20-year-old forward has played just 150 minutes of Premier League football across two games in 2021-22, while making just four appearances in total.

Three of those came in August, with the South American failing to feature at all since being replaced in the second half of the 3-0 Carabao Cup win over AFC Wimbledon on September 22.

What has been said?

Asked to explain why the South American, who scored 10 goals in his debut campaign with the Gunners before suffering injuries last season, is not featuring more prominently, Arteta told reporters: “Because of the amount of players that we have in those positions, first of all.

“He had some games that he played, he started against Brentford and he started against Chelsea as well.

“Unfortunately he got injured last week, it is a minor injury but we don’t know if he is going to be available for Monday but we have a lot of trust with Gabby and we need to find the right space for him to grow within the squad.

“If you look at the number of games that he’s played obviously the injuries that he suffered have been big setbacks on that with him.

“We sometimes forget his age, what he’s done and where he is and we need to try to help him as well to maintain that balance because you can generate frustration that comes out of, in my opinion, an unrealistic diagnosis and you need time to do that.”

Does Martinelli need a move?

Martinelli looked destined for the top when adjusting to life in England during the 2019-20 campaign, but he has gone off the boil since.

Fitness setbacks have done his cause few favours while he is competing with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe for attacking places in Arteta’s side.

However, Arsenal have no plans of allowing a hot prospect to head out of Emirates Stadium in the new year. Quizzed on whether loan approaches would be listened to, Arteta said: “No, I’m very happy with him and we aren’t thinking about anything like that.”

Arsenal, with Martinelli nursing another knock, will return to Premier League action on Monday when they host Crystal Palace, who are managed by former Gunners star Patrick Vieira.

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