Arteta quizzed about Aubameyang as Arsenal defeat West Ham
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Arsenal icon Alan Smith has told manager Mikel Arteta that Gabriel Martinelli is a ‘big talent’ and there is ‘a lot more to come’ from the 20-year-old. The Gunners are much-improved this season and have climbed to fourth in the Premier league table after a strong run of results in the autumn.
Martinelli has started his side’s last four Premier League games and has been in impressive form.
He found the back of the net against Newcastle as a substitute last month and also notched in Arsenal’s 2-0 win against West Ham in midweek.
The Brazilian has been one of the Gunners’ most creative players of late in his role on the left wing and has also provided two assists during his recent starts.
Martinelli, who enjoyed his Arsenal breakthrough as a teenager in the coronavirus-hit 2019/20 campaign, has already made 61 appearances for the club and has been tipped for a big future in the game.
And Smith believes the attacker will only get better.
“There’s a lot more to come from [Gabriel] Martinelli, without question,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“He’s had a difficult spell over the last year or 18 months or so.
“He had his injury, of course, and maybe his confidence has taken a hit, but he has come back into the fold and playing somebody like that out on the left is a way of bringing them back into the team.
“There’s not quite so much responsibility in terms of leading the line and being the main goal threat.
“Maybe in time he will become a central striker, we’ll have to wait and see on that one, but you think back to when he burst onto the scene, he was a revelation.
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“I remember the game at Stamford Bridge [in January 2020] where he ran half the length of the pitch and scored with a calm finish.
“There’s a big talent in there for sure, and that shouldn’t be ignored or discarded. I’m sure it won’t be.
“I don’t know about [Eddie] Nketiah. He’s always struck me as a poacher-type striker.
“He’s still young, though, and whether he can lead the line week in, week out is another matter.
“Is his all-round game good enough for that at the moment? I don’t think it is, at the moment.
“It might develop into something more, but he might end up being one of those players you sell, and he knocks a few goals in elsewhere.
“He’s certainly got a poacher’s eye for goal, but with his contract it is not an easy situation.
“They certainly need one, but maybe two strikers coming into the club in the not-too-distant future.”
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