Gabriel Martinelli showcased his skills as a striker for Brazil in a match against Colombia. This opportunity arose due to the absence of several key players, including Neymar and Richarlison. Martinelli, who has predominantly played as a left-winger for Arsenal, demonstrated his versatility and impressed both fans and media with his performance.
Gabriel Martinelli: A Rising Star
Gabriel Martinelli joined Arsenal from Ituano, a fourth-tier Brazilian club, in 2019. Initially, he made a name for himself as a number nine under former manager Unai Emery. His performances in this role were outstanding, displaying his natural talent and instincts as a striker. However, since Mikel Arteta took charge, Martinelli has primarily been deployed as a left-winger and has emerged as one of the Premier League’s standout players in that position.
Martinelli’s Striker Role for Brazil
Fernando Diniz, the Brazil national team coach, assigned Martinelli as a striker in the match against Colombia. The decision paid off almost immediately, as Martinelli found the back of the net within four minutes of the game. It was his first international goal at senior level, and the Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte praised his overall performance. They awarded him a rating of 7/10 and acknowledged him as one of Brazil’s best players, not just for his goal-scoring contribution.
The Potential Impact on Arsenal
Martinelli’s impressive display as a striker for Brazil raises questions about his role at Arsenal. Many pundits have urged the club to sign a new striker during the January transfer window, expressing doubts about Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah’s ability to lead the line and secure a Premier League title. However, Martinelli’s performance for Brazil presents an alternative solution. At just 22 years old, he possesses the qualities necessary to succeed as a striker. While his hold-up play may need improvement, his goalscoring instincts and versatility make him a viable option for Arsenal.
The Success of Positional Shifts
Drawing inspiration from Arsene Wenger’s successful deployment of Alexis Sanchez as a central striker, there is a strong argument for Martinelli to be given a chance in the same role. Wenger’s decision to move Sanchez from the left-wing to a central position proved fruitful for Arsenal. Martinelli has the potential to have a similar impact if provided with the opportunity. His ability to adapt and excel in different positions could prove invaluable to Arsenal’s attacking options.
Arteta’s Plan for Martinelli
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s current manager, has recognized Martinelli’s potential and expressed his intention to develop the young player in two positions. Arteta has previously experimented with Martinelli as the focal point of the attack during a match against Newcastle United. The Spaniard praised Martinelli’s progress and highlighted his versatility, stating that he sees potential in utilizing Martinelli as both a left-winger and a striker. This approach allows Martinelli to showcase his skills in various positions, providing valuable depth to Arsenal’s squad.
Interestingly, Arteta had the option to deploy Martinelli as a striker nearly a year ago when Gabriel Jesus was injured after returning from World Cup duty. However, due to a lack of available wingers at the time, the change was not possible. Eddie Nketiah ultimately benefited from this situation. Presently, Martinelli has had opportunities to lead the line for Arsenal in the absence of Gabriel Jesus, but he has been overshadowed by Nketiah and Leandro Trossard. Additionally, his exceptional performances as a left-winger have solidified his place in the squad.
Martinelli’s Preferred Position
While Martinelli has proven himself capable of playing as a striker, his preference lies on the left-wing. In an interview with Globo Esporte, he expressed his affinity for the position, particularly for infiltrating the box and being in a prime position to score goals. Martinelli also stated that he can play on the right-wing if needed, but his favorite position is on the left side. This preference aligns with his impressive performances for Arsenal in that role.
Striker Role for Arsenal
Gabriel Martinelli’s recent display as a striker for Brazil highlights his versatility and potential impact on Arsenal’s squad. While predominantly deployed as a left-winger, his successful stint as a number nine demonstrates his ability to adapt and excel in different positions. Mikel Arteta’s plan to develop him in two roles further emphasizes his value to the team. As Arsenal considers the option of signing a new striker, Martinelli’s performance for Brazil should not be overlooked. He possesses the qualities necessary to succeed in a central role, potentially saving the club millions in transfer fees. The future looks bright for Gabriel Martinelli as he continues to impress both domestically and internationally.