Gabriel Martinelli insists he’s “feeling fine” and “ready to go again” after suffering an injury in Arsenal’s defeat by Manchester City.
The Brazilian teenager was handed a first start since having surgery on his knee in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Tuesday, but picked up a knock just before half time.
Martinelli required lengthy treatment after colliding with Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen and injuring his shin.
The 19-year-old striker continued until half time but looked to be in some pain as he limped around the Emirates pitch.
Fans expected Martinelli to be taken off at the break, but he started the second half only to pull up after a matter of moments and make way for Nicolas Pepe.
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Arsenal supporters were furious with Mikel Arteta’s management, with one labelling the decision to keep Martinelli on the pitch a “sackable offence”.
Another wrote: “Clear neglect from Arteta to even let Martinelli back on”.
While a third said: “Arteta’s man management is so bad, the way he handled David Luiz’s head injury I’m not even surprised he threw Martinelli back on despite his shin bleeding and needing stitching, just to make the injury worse.”
Arteta explained his decision after the match, saying: “[At half-time] he was pushing, he was saying he was completely fine, that he wanted to carry on. When he was [back] on the pitch, he was uncomfortable so it was an easy decision to take him off.”
And now Martinelli has broken his silence to back Arteta, posting a picture of himself to Instagram alongside the caption: “Feeling fine, ready to go again.”
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