Martin Keown believes Gabriel Martinelli is now “firmly” in the mind of Mikel Arteta after the attacker scored Arsenal’s second in the win against Newcastle United.
The Gunners secured a crucial three points with a 2-0 win against the Magpies on Saturday afternoon thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka and Martinelli.
The young Brazilian attacker only played 25 minutes, but found the back of the net just seconds after being introduced in the second half at the Emirates Stadium. After a clipped ball from Takehiro Tomiyasu, Martinelli judged it perfectly to lob home on the volley into the far corner.
It was the 20-year-old’s fifth appearance of the Premier League season, but his latest cameo may have persuaded Arteta to use him on a more consistent basis.
That’s according to former Arsenal defender Keown, who was full of praise for Martinelli after the game.
“Martinelli coming off the bench, a player I really admire. Wonderful finish from him. A good story for the youngsters. They made hard work of it Arsenal but they deserved to win,” Keown said on BT Sport.
“In that [post-match] interview there he was actually saying [his performance was a] message to the manager and boy was that a message because that is a dream goal that he scored when he came on.
“He really meant it. I love when I see young players want to come on and make a mark instantly. He’s had hardly any football but now he’s firmly in the mind of the manager for sure.”
This is not the first time Keown has been full of praise for Martinelli, with the former Arsenal centre-back asking the question as to why he was not playing more towards the end of last season.
“I’ve been concerned as to why that player is not playing,” he said to BT Sport.
When pushed for an answer why, Keown responded: “Because the manager doesn’t like him. It’s as simple as that.”
Martinelli will be hoping to be included in Arteta’s starting XI when Arsenal make the trip to Manchester United on Thursday evening in their next Premier League outing.
Source by Football London