Arsenal youngster Martinelli details Mikel Arteta’s role in injury comeback

Mikel Arteta was constantly on the phone to Gabriel Martinelli as he recovered from his injury nightmare the Brazilian has revealed.

The young striker was a revelation in his first year at the Emirates having been signed for a bargain £6m from Ituano.

But his impressive debut season ended on a sour note as he sustained an injury in training.

Despite initially thinking little of it, quickly it became apparent that something serious had occured.

The physical rehabilitation has taken months but the mental side of it has been equally as tough with Martinelli admitting it "broke me".

“I was about to receive the ball and felt a little pain on my knee,” he told the  Daily Mail .

"Not enough for me to stop practising, but, while we were on the finishing session, I told them that I was in pain. They told me to rest and, if I felt the pain the next day, to let them know.

“When I woke up, I felt it but I was able to walk. I thought it was nothing at first, but it was a pain I'd never felt before.

"I went to the club for the examinations and they said it was not good and I would need surgery. It broke me. I cried a lot.”

Arteta was quick to realise the importance of Martinelli upon his arrival and handed him opportunities in the Premier League.

The striker showed composure beyond his years when he scored a goal at Chelsea back in January last year and has already been thrown back into action.

The Gunners boss was in constant contact as the striker went about his recovery.

And now Martinelli has returned his sole focus is on making up for lost time on the pitch.

“Mikel talked to me during my recovery,” he added. “Always calling me to know how I was, even when I returned to Brazil for a time in August.

"When the club needed me, he talked to me again, asking if I was feeling ready to play.

“I said yes. I still feel a bit of pain in the knee, but the doctors say that it is fine. I've not been able to play 90 minutes yet, but it also needs time. My focus is on getting better and helping Arsenal.”

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