Martinelli is ‘like a new signing’ for Arsenal, says Owen

Date published: Monday 3rd May 2021 2:31 - James Holland

Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal F365

Pundit Michael Owen believes Gabriel Martinelli will be ‘like a new signing’ for Arsenal next season.

The young Brazilian started the campaign with a serious knee injury which ruled him out of 11 Premier League matches.

He is now back in the first team and registered an assist as Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0 at the weekend.

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After Mohamed Elneny opened the scoring for the Gunners, Martinelli sent in a great first-time cross for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to double their lead.

The goal put Arsenal in the driving seat at St James’ Park and they went on to gain all three points.

Speaking after the win, Owen told Premier League Productions (via Express): “They’ve got a lot of good young players haven’t they Arsenal.

“I like these players that actually find half a yard and cross it early. As a centre-forward, that’s exactly what you want.

“I hate players that go to cross, cut back, then cut back again and you don’t know when to run.

“But you see, first-time crosses, the defence can’t get set, goalkeeper can’t get set properly.

“[Martinelli] has played centrally so he knows that’s what you prefer as a centre-forward. It was a brilliant ball to round it off.”

When asked if having Martinelli fully fit for next season would be like a new signing, Owen continued: “I think so. I think Mikel Arteta is going to start building his team now around some of these young players.”

Martinelli had an impressive breakthrough campaign during 2019/20. He scored ten goals in all competitions, including three in the Premier League and three in the Europa League.

That helped the Gunners to finish eighth in the table, behind the likes of Spurs and Wolves.

Arteta has an exciting crop of young players coming through, including Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

Saka in particular has already become one of their star players, providing them with creativity when other players have failed.

Compatriot Smith Rowe will be hoping for a similar impact next term as his influence grows.

The summer transfer window could be a busy one for Arteta. The Gunners have been linked with Slavia Prague starlet Abdallah Sima and a permanent move for loanee Martin Odegaard.

Lucas Torreira and Dani Ceballos look set to leave the Emirates come the end of the season.

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