Arteta hints there is a ‘relationship issue’ between Tierney and Martinelli
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hinted there are some relationship issues between Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli.
The Gunners managed a morale-boosting victory over Newcastle on Sunday after a 2-0 win at the Emirates.
It comes just days after losing to Villarreal in Spain in the Europa League semi-final.
Mohamed Elneny opened the scoring in the opening exchanges of the match before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted his first since recovering from malaria.
The Gabon international's impact will certainly please Arteta, who will need his captain fit and firing ahead of the second leg against Villarreal this Thursday – which currently stands at 2-1 on aggregate to Unai Emery's men.
There was also a start for Martinelli, who has missed the last seven league matches despite fans desperate to see him in action.
And Arteta hinted at one of the reasons why the Brazilian has been absent for large portions in recent times.
It regards Tierney, who is one of the first names on the teamsheet due to his defensive acumen and attacking talent from the left flank.
The Gunners coach is concerned that the Scotsman has not had ample time to build up a proper relationship with Martinelli on that side of the pitch.
When asked if Aubameyang was one of the players he wanted Martinelli to forge a connection with, Arteta said: “Yeah it is a connection there.
“I think having Granit behind him helps him in a way because he’s more in the line, in the last line, on the left when he is more comfortable.
“With Kieran it’s a little bit different. Those relationships we have to feel.”
Granit Xhaka has been filling it at left-back in recent weeks with Tierney currently injured.
It remains to be seen when the former Celtic star will return to training with him definitely ruled out of the Europa League match this Thursday.
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