Scouting expert: Gabriel Martinelli set for breakout season for Arsenal
We’re delighted to welcome Football Manager’s Wolves researcher Dave Azzopardi as our exclusive columnist. Each week the scouting expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on Wonderkids across the UK…
Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli could be set for a major breakthrough season if he can avoid injuries, according to Dave Azzopardi.
The Brazilian opened the scoring in Arsenal’s 2-0 opening day win over Crystal Palace after starting on the left wing of the attack, a position he has made his own under manager Mikel Arteta.
The 21-year-old managed just six goals last season but with the World Cup approaching this year a big season could catapult him into the squad and Azzopardi believes he could well have a big year.
“Yes, definitely,” he told The Football Wonderkids.
“Obviously he struggled a bit with injuries last year or the last couple of years, but whenever he was in the Arsenal team last year he was good and a nuisance.
“I think he could be a player. Obviously Arsenal have struggled to find an out-and-out goalscorer, obviously Aubameyang is gone, Lacazette is gone. They’ve bought in Jesus which is a great signing, but I think Martinelli could add a huge amount of goals to the team as well.
“Really talented player. Arsenal have got really talented players all throughout the team really and it could be an interesting year for them, but for me he’s going to be one of those players now who’s going to be a key player and everyone is going to be talking about this year.”
Martinelli joined Arsenal back in 2019 in a £6m move from Brazilian club Ituano, before establishing himself as a regular in the side last season.
He has scored 19 goals in 85 appearances for the Gunners to date, while also earning three caps for the Brazil senior national team in 2022.
In other Arsenal news, Gary Neville was stunned by the performance of William Saliba vs Crystal Palace