Gabriel Martinelli sends message to Mikel Arteta amid ‘special’ praise from Arsenal great

Gabriel Martinelli has sent a message to Mikel Arteta after helping the Gunners towards a key win.

The winger once again had to start from the bench as Arsenal took on Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, but he came off the bench to put the Gunners ahead a minute into stoppage time after Christian Benteke cancelled out Nicolas Pepe‘s opener.

Pepe went on to grab a third, but Martinelli‘s goal was critical in getting Arsenal over the line at Selhurst Park, and with Tottenham losing, it means they stay in European contention, even if West Ham’s win later in the evening means Europa League qualification is out of the question.

And after his goal, Martinelli sent a clear message to his boss amid a lack of opportunities to make an impression from the start of games.

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“I am always ready. When Mikel needs me, I will be there and come on and score a goal,” he told BT Sport.

“It’s not easy (not starting) but as I said I am always ready when Mikel needs me I will be there.

“We have brilliant players. We believe we can qualify for the Europa League so we need to fight, we have one more game so we will go there and try to beat them.”

Martinelli is not short of fans in north London, and one of them is Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg, who said during punditry duty: “He’s very special and he’s a lovely boy as well.

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“You hear how he speaks, of course he’s disappointed he’s not starting, it’s been a while.

“He does so well and all he is saying is that he is always ready when he [Arteta] wants me and it’s a dream for a manager to have.”

Martinelli has been given just seven Premier League starts this season, but Arteta is under increased pressure to give the 19-year-old more opportunities amid impressive form.

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