Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes Gabriel Martinelli has a very small window to prove himself to manager Mikel Arteta.
With Alexandre Lacazette (and Eddie Nketiah) likely to leave the Emirates either in January or at the end of the season, the Gunners have been linked with moves for Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins as possible replacements.
Campbell thinks that if either striker is signed, it will drastically reduce Martinelli’s chances of breaking through at Arsenal. He has, therefore, implored the Brazilian to take any opportunities he gets this campaign with both hands:
“Martinelli is only 20. He is still learning his trade. Arsenal cannot do wrong by signing a top, young international striker like Watkins or Calvert-Lewin. Lacazette will not be there next season. Martinelli will get his opportunities – the key is taking them. Nobody has time anymore. You will not get picked just because you are a young player who needs experience. You need to be doing the business to get on.”
“Martinelli has to take his chance when it comes. That has been the case in football ever since I was a kid. There isn’t as many games this season with no European football so when the chance comes it is massively important that you make the most of it.”
Martinelli’s development has definitely stalled over the last eighteen months, and he doesn’t look like he is playing with any confidence when he is given chances by Arteta.
The forward may only be 20 years of age but Campbell is right to say he may not be given all the time in the world to mature. Hopefully, he makes an impression the next time he plays.