The question many fans have been asking is why isn’t Martinelli getting any time on the pitch. Arsenal have not seen much of Martinelli since he returned from his lengthy injury, playing only 13 minutes of football since the beginning of last month.
Martinelli is tagged by many as a special talent and given what he showcased in his debut season, one would wonder why he isn’t getting regular minutes on the pitch.
As a result, Mikel Arteta has been accused of mishandling the Brazilian youngster. Anger over his lack of involvement while the likes of Willian are given time on the pitch. No disrespect to Willian, of late he has been in decent form providing assists.
But giving playing time to a 32 year-old over a 19 year-old prodigy is really controversial. Martinelli continues to watch his agemate Saka from the bench.
Towards the end of last year, he was brought straight into the lineup and started a couple of games. Of course he wasn’t fully fit but now he should be at 100%.
The main reason for this situation could be a disagreement between Arteta and Martinelli on playing positions.
“[Aubameyang and Martinelli] are centre forwards,” Arteta said one year ago in an interview.
“I really like playing on the left end,” Martinelli said last February. “It is my favourite position.”
This could be the case. Arteta sees Martinelli isn’t suited to play on the left wing but rather as a central striker. In the first leg against Benfica, Arteta opted to deploy him as the central striker in the late stages of the game instead of the on the left wing.
The number 9 position already has it’s competition with Aubameyang and Lacazette both in decent form but only one of the two able to start.
Nonetheless Arteta needs to sort this out and find a way of fitting Martinelli into the team at his age he can easily adapt to multiple positions. Otherwise the youngster may choose to leave the club in a bid to save his career.