Arsenal’s young Brazilian star Gabriel Martinelli backs boss Mikel Arteta and claims Gunners squad is one of the best as they bid to improve in the 21/22 Premier League campaign
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Arsenal starlet Gabriel Martinelli believes that Mikel Arteta’s squad is already ‘one of the best teams in the world’.
The 20-year-old has established himself as one of the brightest young stars at the Emirates since his arrival in the summer of 2019.
Martinelli, who is currently starring for Brazil at the Olympics, suffered a torrid spell with injuries last term.
Arsenal missed out on qualifying for European football last year, but the Brazilian has backed his side to improve this season.
Arteta has set the tone for rebuilding a squad which has been in decline over recent years with early moves for Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares and Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, with more business expected to follow.
Speaking to UOL, Martinelli has talked up the Gunners’ strength in depth ahead of the new season after those early switches.
“It’s a new team, with a new coach too, but already with experience and that, I consider it one of the best in the world already.
“We had good games at the end of the season, the players are confident, so we have to try to go down this same path, so we need to start the season well.”
Arteta is heading into his second full season in charge determined to restore Arsenal to their former glory.
The Gunners have registered consecutive eighth-placed finishes since the Spaniard took the reins, and it’s been five years since they finished in the Premier League’s top four.
The prospect of a fully-fit Martinelli will give Arteta a boost ahead of the new campaign.
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The dazzling Brazilian burst onto the scene after signing in North London, registering an impressive ten goals and four assists in 26 games.
After recovering from a serious knee injury, the forward was then kept out of the side by the emergence of Emile Smith-Rowe, who has just penned a bumper new deal.
But Arteta still sees the exciting Brazilian as a big part of his future plans.
“Gabi is doing really well. He is doing better every day, he is getting the right development,” said the Spaniard back in April.
“We have to be a little bit patient with him but he has a bright future at the club and he will have all the opportunities that he needs to show us how good he is and the career he can have with us.”
Despite the prospect of Martinelli and Smith-Rowe linking up, Arteta is still in the market for an attacking midfielder.
The Gunners are keen on a return for Martin Odegaard, who sparkled at the Emirates during his six-month stay last season.
The Norwegian star is back at Real Madrid for pre-season training under new boss Carlo Ancelotti, but Arsenal are monitoring the situation.
They have been linked with a blockbuster move for Leicester City talisman James Maddison, but they may struggle to prise the England star away from their domestic rivals.
Get your hands on your club’s special edition 2021/22 annual. Find out more here.