Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Arsenal starlet Gabriel Martinelli ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Leicester City.
Martinelli received his first call-up to the Brazilian national team on Friday afternoon after enjoying a stellar run of form for the Gunners, notching five goals and two assists in just 13 league starts.
Now, Arteta has hailed the 20-year-old’s development, claiming that he is much more than just a goalscorer.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against the Foxes, the Spaniard said: “He’s shown big signs of where he’s moving. His contribution all-round in his game has been exceptional.
“He certainly has the capacity to score goals and be a threat. His contribution and all-round game has been exceptional.”
The promising attacker has been playing on the left-wing in recent times but football.london understands that the youngster has been operating centrally in training, an unsurprising decision after the club allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave the club during the January transfer window.
Martinelli has previously revealed that he played on the flank during his younger days but also admitted that he can play through the middle as well.
When speaking to The Athletic, he said: “I have played on the wings growing up, but I can play in the middle as well, or on the sides.
“I can do whatever the manager wants me to do.”
The former Ituano star scored the winner last week as the north Londoners recorded a 3-2 victory away to Watford and he will be hoping to continue that goalscoring form against Leicester this weekend.