Gabriel Martinelli gives Arsenal a boost while confirming he is fit for the Europa League crunch quarter-final with Slavia Prague after being forced out with a single hit after his goal against Sheffield United.
- Gabriel Martinelli scored his first goal in 15 months against Sheffield United
- The Arsenal forward started his first Premier League game since January
- But after appearing to be hit, he was replaced by Mohamed Elneny
- However, the Brazilian confirmed that he can play well against Slavia Prague
Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli has allayed fears he has suffered another injury after confirming he is ‘okay to play’ in their crunch Europa League second leg against Slavia Prague.
The 19-year-old entered a Premier League game against Sheffield United for the first time since late January on Sunday, scoring his first goal in nearly 15 months in The Gunners’ 3-0 win at Bramall Lane.
But the Brazilian was replaced by midfielder Mohamed Elneny in the 83rd minute after appearing to receive a blow to the ankle, sparking concerns that he had been injured after his protracted knee problem last year.
Gabriel Martinelli insists he is ‘okay to play’ against Slavia Prague after scoring his first goal in almost 15 months
The 19-year-old seemed to get a single hit in the 3-0 win at Sheffield United
However, speak to the club’s official website after the gameWhen asked if he had a problem, Martinelli said, ‘No, I can play on Thursday.
‘I feel a bit tired, but I am so happy with the goal and even more happy with the win and the three points.
‘I work in training every day, because you have to prepare, because as Mikel [Arteta] needs you, you have to be there to play and show something. ‘
But after the match, Martinelli confirmed he would be available for Mikel Arteta (left)
The Gunners’ season is at stake as they travel to the Czech Republic on Thursday to take on Slavia after last week’s 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunneres took the lead late with Nicolas Pepe’s record purchase, only ahead of center-back Tomas Holes, who equalized for the Czech champions in the third minute of extra time.
Arteta’s men will face former boss Unai Emery’s Villarreal or Tottenham’s conquerors Dinamo Zagreb in the semifinals as they progress.
However, Arteta still has injuries and illness concerns leading up to the Europa League quarter-final return, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe all missing out, while Bukayo Saka had ice tied to his thigh after he landed on Bramall Lane. .
The Gunners go straight to Prague level after an extra time divider from Tomas Holes (left)
“(Saka) had some discomfort in his thigh,” Arteta said.
‘I do not know what it is. The last thing we need is another problem as we have had enough of that and are currently missing some big players. Martinelli twisted an ankle and it hurt, but he’s a tough kid. ‘
As to whether Aubameyang would be fit, Arteta added, “I hope so. He was unwell yesterday and was unable to train. Hopefully he will feel better and be available in the next two days.
“As for Emile and Martin, we don’t know yet.”