Pundit urges Arteta to drop Martinelli ahead of City clash

By on February 13, 2023

gabriel martinelli arsenal

Former goalkeeper Shaka Hislop has urged Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to drop ‘struggling’ Gabriel Martinelli ahead of midweek’s clash against Manchester City.

The Brazilian has been enjoying a stellar campaign this term, scoring seven goals and notching up two assists in 21 Premier League appearances.

He has been instrumental in the Gunners’ success so far. However, the youngster has dropped off a little bit in recent weeks as he has failed to score in his last seven games in all competitions.

Leandro Trossard was signed during the winter transfer window to add depth to the attacking department and help the club in their quest of winning the title this term.

The Belgian has been introduced as a second-half substitute, replacing Martinelli, in the last three Premier League encounters and he has made an impact in all of those games. The forward opened his account for the Gunners in Saturday’s controversial 1-1 draw with Brentford and the debate has now started on whether to start Trossard over Martinelli against Man City on Wednesday night.

Pundit urges Arteta to drop Martinelli

Speaking on ESPN (via Evening Standard), Hislop has said that Arteta should now consider dropping Martinelli from the starting eleven and give Trossard a go, as the youngster is currently ‘struggling’ to showcase his best form.

The pundit further claims that Trossard has looked promising in recent times and after scoring the goal versus Brentford, he now deserves to start.

Hislop said:

“When he has come on, Leandro Trossard has had an impact, So if you’re Arteta, I think the time is right to think: ‘Well, do I now play Trossard from the very start?’

“Now, Martinelli is quick, and defences coming up against that kind of pace, you have to adjust just for that pure speed that Martinelli brings. But he hasn’t had much of an impact. He’s not been playing well and is struggling a bit.

“So the easy change I think given the form of Trossard, given the fact that he’s finally got on the scoresheet for Arsenal, is that you have to play him from the very start.”

Martinelli – valued at around £53m by Transfermarkt – is a promising young talent and it is tough for youngsters to perform consistently at the highest level. So, rotating the squad and giving Trossard opportunities to start would be the right decision and that could help bring the best out of the former Ituano star.

However, I believe starting the Brazilian against City on Wednesday would be a better decision due to the fact that Pep Guardiola’s side likes to play with a high back line and Martinelli’s pace would be a useful weapon for Arteta’s side in this encounter.

The 21-year-old would be a better option to come on from the bench against a side who want to sit back and defend deep. So, Arteta should utilise Martinelli and Trossard shrewdly and according to the style of the opposition’s play.