Arsenal fans think Mikel Arteta has unmasked another Alexis Sanchez
Newcastle v Arsenal: Match in pictures
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Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli impressed in the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday, providing the assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal. The 19-year-old has had limited opportunities since returning from a knee injury and fans have been calling for him to start more.
Against Newcastle, Martinelli was a constant threat down the left and supporters were delighted with his display, with some even comparing him to former Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez.
Reacting on social media, one fan wrote: “Gabriel Martinelli’s ability to make things happen is Alexis Sanchez like.”
A third wrote: “Martinelli is electric. So much energy, like a pinball. Always moving, causing havoc for the opposition. How has he not played more for us this year.”
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Speaking in his post-match press conference, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Martinelli.
“I think they all played really well and Gabi is improving every week,” he said.
“He’s taking his minutes in the right way and he’s developing the way we all believe he can.
“Today he had an assist, which was an important moment, and he had some good moments off the left – and also trying to play as a No 9 as well.”
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Arsenal legend Martin Keown recently claimed that Martinelli was not getting many opportunities to start because Arteta “doesn’t like him.”
Speaking on BT Sport, Keown said he was “concerned” about Martinelli’s game time and when asked why, he replied: “Because the manager doesn’t like him. It’s as simple as that.
“I’m not there everyday, I’m not on the training ground.
“I thought it was very interesting Odegaard had gone internationally and said ‘this is the best young player I’ve ever seen’. And he’s from Real Madrid!
“So now it’s time to let him fly. Let’s look at the positives. Let’s support him. When he came into the team I thought he did a great job. Not only was he making runs down the middle but he was coming back.
“He was like a Duracell battery. Keep him in the team. Play him. You’ve seen what you’ve done with [Emiel] Smith Rowe and [Bukayo] Saka. Support him.”
However, Arteta has hit back at those suggestions, saying: “Just look at how much he’s played in the last few years. Then how much he’s played with me when he’s available. Then we can discuss that.
“It’s what happens. This debate is always happening when you don’t win. If it’s not him, it will be someone else. If it’s not Gabi, it will be Lacazette, Willian or Pepe. It’s part of it.
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