Mikel Arteta’s new system can unlock Arsenal star’s lost potential and solve £50m dilemma

Gabriel Martinelli has struggled to maintain a consistent run of games since Mikel Arteta took over as Arsenal boss.

The Brazillian had been considered a wonderkid after notable performances where he scored a brace against Liverpool at Anfield in 2019 and a magnificent solo effort against Chelsea in that same season which had led to football icons Jurgen Klopp and Ronaldinho heaping praise on the youngster.

However, the development of the 21-year-old has since then been hindered as he has had to fight back from a major knee injury that sidelined him for almost a year and he has fallen out of favour in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

With the opportunities limited for the youngster, it is pivotal he takes any chance that becomes available to him and a chance may just be on the horizon.

Ahead of the clash against Leeds United, Tom Canton, Bailey Keogh and Umar Choudhry spoke on The Arsenal Way Agenda show to discuss how Martinelli can make a breakthrough in Arteta’s starting eleven plans.

Keogh kickstarted the discussion by highlighting how it is now or never for the young Brazilian and he must make the most out of the chance he is given in cup competitions.

“I think it is the only chance he will get and it is the best chance to try and break into the first team, as I think right now he isn’t in Arteta’s plans at all and he is not even used as a substitute.

He has Nicolas Pepe in front of him with Smith Rowe and Saka dominating the wing positions.”

Keogh then continued by claiming that Arteta’s new-look system could benefit Martinelli in possibly breaking through.

“If we do maintain this 4-4-2 formation, then he might be better suited to playing as a striker or as a second striker.

So if Arteta does use this system then Martinelli needs to get the goals and if he manages to score or get a goal contribution it poses Arteta the question to start him.”

Canton agreed with Keogh and thinks the youngster’s positioning could pave a way for him to break into Arteta’s plans.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him play as close to the central striker as possible. I do want him in the wide position, I don’t want him in the central role but I want to see him playing off the striker, getting close to goal and taking those chances that we know he can do.

He’s got a lethal shot when he does get close to goal, so I am looking forward to seeing him play.”

Martinelli started against Leeds last night and got a much-needed 90 minute run out. Although he didn’t have his best game, he worked hard and looked like a threat at times.

It was very apparent, however, that he needs more game time in order to sharpen up and return to his full potential. Hopefully, yesterday is an indicator that his fitness is improving and it leads to Arteta using him in the side more often.

Martinelli is so talented, it would be a huge shame to see him left in the dark at Arsenal.

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