Arsenal’s “unpredictable” teen could soon be the perfect Martinelli rival

Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli is struggling for form.

The 19-year-old has already made his first team debut for the Gunners.

Narratives in football can often change in the blink of an eye, and Arsenal are a great example of that.

Narratives in football can often change in the blink of an eye, and Arsenal are a great example of that.

Just a month ago, the talk around Mikel Arteta’s young side was one of crisis, as three losses on the bounce had pundits and fans alike writing them off for the Premier League title race this season.

However, just four games later, the Gunners are right back in the conversation, in no small part thanks to the resurgence of their attacking players.

Gabriel Jesus has registered three goal involvements since the winter break, Bukayo Saka has five, Leandro Trossard has three, and even Gabriel Martinelli, who has struggled this season, has three in the last four games.

The Brazilian could well be on the way back to his best, although if he’s still struggling next season, Hale End could already have the perfect competition to push him that bit further.

Gabriel Martinelli’s Arsenal record

Famously, Martinelli was signed for just £6m from Brazilian fourth-tier outfit Ituano in the summer of 2019, in what has to go down as one of the best transfers in the history of Arsenal football club, if not the entire league, for just how much the club have got out of him for such a low fee.

Despite being just 19 years old, he didn’t take long to make an impact at the club, as in his first season, he made 26 appearances in all competitions, scoring ten goals and providing four assists in the process.

His electric pace and clinical finishing quickly endeared him to the Arsenal fans, and his iconic goal away to Chelsea in that first season is still often talked about as the moment he truly announced himself to the rest of the league.

Unfortunately, his momentum was seriously slowed after he suffered a severe knee injury in June 2020 that kept him out of action until late December of that same year, and while he played a significant number of games over the next year and a half, he wouldn’t get back to his best until last season.

Arteta played the explosive Brazilian in 46 games across the 2022/23 campaign, and he was repaid with remarkable performances that returned 15 goals and six assists as Martinelli made the left-wing his own.

Goals and assists have been harder to come by this year, but with ten goal involvements in 28 appearances, he’s doing better than some fans and pundits suggest.

That said, he might have to start looking over his shoulder from next season as Hale End has produced another incredibly talented winger who could soon be making regular first-team appearances, Charles Sagoe Jr.

Why fans should be excited about Charles Sagoe Jr

Kingston upon Thames-born Sagoe Jr is one of the latest attacking gems to come off of the development line at Arsenal’s Hale End academy, and with his ability to start at left-wing, attacking midfield and even centre forward, it seems like just a matter of time until the youngster is playing regular first team games.

In fact, he’s already made one start for the first team this season against Brentford in the League Cup earlier in the campaign, with Arteta crediting his “consistent” efforts with the academy as the reason why he was given the opportunity.

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