Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has already suffered a double blow ahead of the 2021/22 season.
And the Gunners confirmed the news in their international call-ups update on Tuesday afternoon.
“Gabriel and Gabriel Martinelli have been named in Brazil’s squad for their friendlies ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Japan,” a statement on Arsenal.com reads. “Our duo have two caps apiece for the Selecao’s under-23s, with both of Martinelli’s appearances coming at the United International Football Festival back in November 2019.”
As the event is pencilled in to get underway on Friday, July 23, and run to Sunday, August 8, it means Arteta will be without two key players during Arsenal’s pre-season preparations.
Furthermore, given the 2021/22 Premier League campaign starts on August 14, if Brazil go deep in the tournament then Gabriel and Martinelli could miss the first few weeks of the new season.
With that said, the central defender has already been active on social media to celebrate his call-up.
“Always an honor to be representing my country,” Gabriel wrote on Instagram earlier in the month.
Martinelli responded to the post with a heart emoji, but his involvement in the tournament could disrupt his plans to become one of Arteta’s untouchables next season.
Having struggled for game time since returning from a long-term knee injury, potentially missing the start of next season may harm Martinelli’s chances of becoming a regular.
Players usually get time off after an international tournament and if Brazil were to be involved in the gold medal match then the forward may not feature for the Gunners during the month of August.
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Arteta has often faced questions about Martinelli and recently offered an insight in regards to his plans for the teenager from next season.
“Very close,” said the Gunners boss when asked how far he was from a regular place in the team.
“And he needs to keep fighting to be closer and closer.”