Martin Keown insists that Mikel Arteta cannot get ‘great talent’ Gabriel Martinelli out of his first team

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Martin Keown insists Mikel Arteta can’t pull ‘great talent’ Gabriel Martinelli out of his starting XI after scoring a goal in victory over Sheffield United … as Arsenal legend says Brazilian was a ‘snipe’ amid costly failures at the Emirates

  • Martin Keown claims Gabriel Martinelli should stay in Arsenal’s starting XI
  • Martinelli scored his first goal in 15 months in Arsenal’s 3-0 win at Sheffield United
  • Keown said 19-year-old Brazilian is a ‘big talent’ that cost the Gunners ‘a snipe’

Martin Keown praised Arsenal starlet and ‘great talent’ Gabriel Martinelli and insisted that boss Mikel Arteta should keep him in the starting line-up after his goal against Sheffield United.

The Brazilian scored his first Gunners goal in 15 months on Sunday in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over the Blades on Sunday, and shone in a match that glimpsed the promise of Arteta’s project.

Despite his long absence, Keown believes Martinelli has already proven himself worth the £ 6m Arsenal paid for him in 2019, pointing to the low price tag compared to some of The Gunners’ other transfer exploits.

Martin Keown has insisted that striker Gabriel Martinelli should remain in Arsenal's first team

Martin Keown has insisted that striker Gabriel Martinelli should remain in Arsenal’s first team

Martinelli (left) scored his first Arsenal goal in 15 months in their 3-0 win over Sheffield United

Martinelli (left) scored his first Arsenal goal in 15 months in their 3-0 win over Sheffield United

Martinelli (left) scored his first Arsenal goal in 15 months in their 3-0 win over Sheffield United

“There has been a lot of talk about Arsenal’s recruitment and they’ve spent too much money on certain individuals, but this guy (Martinelli) – it was a blink they paid for him,” Keown said on BT Sport.

(The goal) will really help him. He’s been through a lot, 15 months since he last scored, he’s had injuries, his ACL. But he’s an instinctive finisher, he knows where to run. ‘

Martinelli’s transfer fee is overshadowed by some of the figures Arsenal has paid for other forwards in recent times, notably a club record of £ 72 million for Nicolas Pepe, £ 57 million for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and £ 48 million for Alexandre Lacazette.

Keown has long been impressed with Martinelli and said he always wanted Arteta to pick him into the first team when he was fit.

Arteta (photo) now has to look ahead to the second leg of Arsenal in the quarter finals of the Europa League against Slavia Prague

Arteta (photo) now has to look ahead to the second leg of Arsenal in the quarter finals of the Europa League against Slavia Prague

Keown (left) said Martinelli is ‘a great talent’ that Mikel Arteta (right) should keep in the team

‘I almost felt like I was signing a petition to get him (Martinelli) into the team. He’s a great talent, ”said Keown.

We have to look at it and say ok, has there been an underlying injury? Are there other reasons why he wasn’t on the team? But now that he’s on the team, I think he’s defending that squad and he should stay on the team.

“I don’t think you can take him out now.”

Arsenal are now looking forward to their crucial second leg in the Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague on Thursday and Keown admitted that tough decisions had to be made about whether Martinelli should start.

“This depends on the selection,” he said. ‘You have (Emile) Smith Rowe to think about, Aubameyang to come back in too. Do we put (Bukayo) Saka back to the left back? It depends who is available. ‘

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