Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed there are some relationship issues between Scottish left-back Kieran Tierney and Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli.
The remarks come after Arsenal's much-needed 2-0 win over Newcastle United. Goals from Mohamed Elneny and returning club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed an impressive win for Arsenal.
Tierney and Martinelli's supposed relationship issues at Arsenal
Martinelli didn't start Arsenal's last seven Premier League games. However, Kieran Tierney's injury meant that Granit Xhaka was given left-back duties in place of the injured Scot, giving Martinelli the chance to operate on the left wing.
After the game against Newcastle United, Mikel Arteta had the following to say when asked about "connections" in his Arsenal team:
"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."
Arteta believes that Martinelli operates more comfortably with Xhaka behind him, but this is a stop-gap arrangement before Tierney returns from injury.
Despite Martinelli not being in sync with Kieran Tierney, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is happy with the development of the young Brazilian, saying:
"Gabi [Martinelli] is improving every week. I think he’s taking his minutes in the right way and he’s developing in the way that we all believe he can."
Speaking about the Brazilian's performance against Newcastle United, Arteta further added:
"Today he had an assist, it was in an important moment, and he had some good moments off the left and as well trying to play him as a nine as well."
Martinelli is a promising young player with loads of ability. The versatile 19-year-old can also play as the lone man up front, and has made 44 appearances for the club across all competitions, scoring 11 goals and giving 6 assists. Game time has been hard to come by, but Arteta has tremendous belief in the youngster's talent.