Gabriel Martinelli is a goalscoring dynamo, capable of conjuring something out of nothing. He scores goals at the tightest of angles, when they’re needed the most. But he’s 18-years-old and has a lot to learn. From the fourth tier of Brazil to the Premier League, can ‘Gabi’ become Arsenal’s new number nine sooner than expected?
With reports coming out over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of commitment, could it be worth cutting ties in the summer and going with more of a wildcard?
So many questions. Is Martinelli even a wildcard anymore? Eleven goals in all competitions for the Gunners, he has proven that he is a reliable option going forward. Well more so than Alexandre Lacazette. So, why is Gabi forced out to the right wing in order to cater for the Frenchman?
This is currently an unanswerable question. Mikel Arteta has had five weeks in charge and could still be testing his preferred starting eleven. He could see Lacazette a more suitable option stylistically. The former-Lyon striker is wholely unselfish and fits Arteta’s higher-tempo of play, but is short on confidence. He could also be testing Martinelli, seeing where he does best. The right-wing position is a definite no go.
Acting as a sole striker in the absence of Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli has really flourished. His performance against Chelsea was a clear standout but the two games as a forward have garnered Martinelli a WhoScored rating of 8.2 (compared to 7.01 as a left-winger and 6.56 on the right). Prolific.
Gabriel Martinelli – Viva Le Future!
Away from Arsene’s army of French talents has emerged possibly the greatest group of players the Hale End has ever produced. It’s a big statement but probably not one too far off. Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith-Rowe, not to forget even younger talents like Miguel Azeez. They’re all in and around the first team. There’s many more too.
Why am I pointing this out? Because if Martinelli was to replace Aubameyang at the end of the season, or even now, what would be Arsenal’s best front three? Despite constant slander, Nicolas Pépé is a shoe in for a start. At only 24-years-old, he can become a leader in that forward line. With Martinelli upfront, do Arsenal need a more stable left-sided attacker, or do they risk it with the youth? Personally, I’d use Saka on the left. He is scarily good.
And I guess this is the whole question. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a proven goalscorer, capable of having the weight of millions on his shoulders and delivering. This is a vital point and I think is the reason why Arsenal need to keep him. His defensive output may be nothing compared to the Brazilian, but he scores goals. A lot of goals. And he can be relied upon.
Gabriel Martinelli will be great, for Arsenal or otherwise. However, for now, he needs more time to acclimatise himself completely with the Premier League before Mikel Arteta decides to choose him over Aubameyang. On the other hand, by July, it may be time to prioritise the future. PEA’s wages are exponential to say the least and they could go elswhere. Whether Martinelli can be consistent as a striker for an entire season would be an interesting watch. I’m all for it.
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