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Mikel Arteta praises Gabriel Martinelli’s determination ahead of Man Utd clash

Gabriel Martinelli

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has praised the determination of Gabriel Martinelli ahead of Thursday’s Premier League clash at Manchester United.

The Brazilian is currently in his third campaign with the Gunners, but he has yet to establish himself as a regular from the starting line-up.

The 20-year-old has been hampered by injuries along the way, but he showed his quality against Newcastle United last week with a sublime goal.

Martinelli netted within 93 seconds of coming on. He showed brilliant awareness to track Takehiro Tomiyasu’s floating pass before scoring with a superb volley.

With Bukayo Saka doubtful for tomorrow’s game, Martinelli could make the starting XI. Arteta has acknowledged that it could be a possibility.

The Spanish tactician was also full of praise for the youngster’s determination to keep working hard in training.

He said via “I understand that we want to play all the players, but we can only play 11 of them.”

“We have such a young team and we have to find the right pathway with the right timing within the pathway because it can look in a different way and I think it’s very clear what we want to do with Gabi.

“His determination is absolutely top and he will continue to do that. He has the capacity to start games, no doubt about it.”

Saka was substituted after the hour mark last weekend with a thigh problem, and Arteta has revealed that he remains a potential doubt for the Manchester trip.

Nicolas Pepe is an experienced option in reserve, but the Ivorian has recently fallen out-of-favour. He has played just five minutes over the past five league games.

Martinelli seems the likelier choice to play in the right midfield role if Saka is sidelined. His excellent link-up play with Tomiyasu should also encourage Arteta to start him.

Of course, he will be up against stiffer opposition from last weekend, but has shown plenty of promise. The youngster is gifted with superb finishing qualities in the box.

The Gunners will be aiming to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford for a second straight time, but it won’t be easy with their poor fortunes at the stadium over the years.

The north London club have secured just one league victory at Old Trafford since 2007.

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