The performances of Arsenal’s attacking quartet over the international break will come as another blow to Martinelli who is looking to force his way into the Mikel Arteta’s plans
Gabriel Martinelli faces an uphill battle to get back into the Arsenal side as his teammates continue their impressive form on international duty.
The 20-year-old was not called up to the Brazil squad during the break as the striker struggles for regular playing time this season.
He seemed to have taken advantage of his time in London Colney, however, as he starred in a behind closed doors friendly as Arsenal claimed a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers.
But those efforts might all be for nothing as four Arsenal’s players, who rival Martinelli’s position, impressed for their respective nations and made sure he won’t take their place in the starting XI against Crystal Palace this weekend.
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Emile Smith Rowe, who scored in the north London derby against Spurs, was excellent for England U-21s against Slovenia, before showing an incredible turn of pace on the counter-attack to net the winner against Andorra.
Bukayo Saka was another player who stayed on the goal trail as he scored for Gareth Southgate’s men against Andorra.
Nicolas Pepe, who Arteta has left out in recent weeks, also staked his claim with a goal for Ivory Coast against Malawi, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang delivered the goods for Gabon in a 2-1 win over Angola.
It’s great news for Arteta that his starters have performed well during the international break, but it will come as another blow to Martinelli who is looking to force his way into the Spaniard’s plans.
But since then he has not featured in the league, only in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup wins over West Brom and AFC Wimbledon.
It seemed a no-brainer that he would be thrown on at the end of the Gunners’ stalemate with Brighton, however, after Saka went off with a knock as the visitors looked for a winner.
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But Arteta opted to call on Ainsley-Maitland Niles instead as he went for the more defensive choice.
That decision would indicate that Martinelli is far down the Spaniard’s pecking order and unfortunately the performances of Arsenal’s attacking quartet on international duty has not helped in that respect.
Arteta has previously warned the Brazilian that he will need to earn his minutes despite his willingness to give Arsenal’s youngsters a chance in the first team.
He said after Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in which Martinelli scored: “I know that we want to play with 11 academy players under 20, but guys, who is doing that?”
“We are doing more than anybody and they are going to have the chances, they are earning their chances, it’s not like we are giving [away] the chances.
“They are earning the chances and it’s a joy to have them with us.”