Martinelli has had consistent injury troubles since breaking into the Arsenal squad in the 2019-20 season. He suffered a long-term knee injury in his first season, and has had issues with his calf and ankle in recent months. Against Everton, the 20-year old picked up a hamstring strain, from which he has since recovered from.
Gabriel Martinelli has had four goal involvements in his last three Premier League appearances. He scored a brace against Leeds to help his team to a 4-1 victory. That has left Paul Merson impressed, who said:
"Martinelli is a very special talent. I like him, but the question is: how long is he going to be fit for? If he can maintain his fitness, Arsenal have got a new signing – a £50 million player. On top of that, there’s Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. "
"Martin Odegaard is starting to look like the decent player he was meant to be when he arrived at Arsenal, Thomas Partey is starting to play now. Arsenal are starting to look decent, but, as I say, they are still a bag of Revels; you put your hand in, and you’re never sure what you’re going to get!"
Arsenal on the right path under Mikel Arteta
There is little doubt this Arsenal team is set to continue improving under Mikel Arteta.
A range of young stars have only recently struck form this season. The centre-back pairing of Gabriel and Ben White looks solid. In midfield, Arsenal have in Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe the right combination of steel and creativity.
Bukayo Saka is a top player, while Martinelli is expected to continue delivering in the coming weeks. Merson believes the next step for Arsenal would be to gain consistency, saying in this regard:
"They got beat at Old Trafford and Goodison Park; Manchester United and Everton didn’t play well those two games; they weren’;, they just beat Arsenal. The problem with Arsenal is consistency; that has been their problem for the last 10 years."
"They will put in some good performances; we’ve just seen that against Southampton, West Ham and Leeds, and they have a chance of finishing in the top four because they are not in Europe and play just once a week.
However, the former Gunner also praised the team for their determination, saying:
"Arsenal do deserve credit for being in the mix, as long as they carry on beating the teams beneath them, they have a chance. If they lose against any of the big three it won’t make a difference because none of the other teams vying for fourth will beat the big three."
While competing for the title is still some way away, Arsenal could qualify for Europe next season, and are alive in both the domestic cups.