Mikel Arteta has warned Arsenal fans against putting pressure on returning winger Gabriel Martinelli ahead of his return to action.
The Brazilian returned to training back in October and it was revealed yesterday that he is pitched him to play an under-23s game towards the end of December.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with Rapid Vienna, the Spaniard claimed that the 5’11 youngster’s lack of consistency across a number of seasons is a reason not to put too many expectations on him.
Arteta said: “He’s done it for a period of time and in certain moments throughout a game, but consistently for three years, two or one? He’s never done it. I’m sorry he’s never done it, so we cannot put that pressure on him.”
“It’s like with Bukayo and other young players that we have, they’ve never done it in their career, so why do you expect him to do it today? And in which environment? In which context? Patience, but he’s a positive guy to have back on the team because he’s such a character.” (via Arsenal)
Should Martinelli immediately return to the first XI when back from injury?
At just 19-years-old and with the world at his feet, the last thing we want to do as a fanbase is put too much expectations on his young shoulders.
Put it like this Kylian Mbappe took the world by storm ever since he helped AS Monaco win Ligue 1 at the tender age of 17. He’s followed it up with a World Cup, a Champions League final and bucket loads of goals, however, how many more players have enjoyed a steep rise like him over the last decade?
Well, the answer to that is easy, none. You may be screaming: “what about Erling Haaland?”. Yes, the Norwegian is prolific despite being just 20, but, he hasn’t won a league title at one of Europe’s top five leagues and he most definitely hasn’t been a key player for his country in a world cup triumph like the PSG man.
You very rarely find a player that can handle the pressure at such a young age. As a group of fans, we need to manage out expectations surrounding Martinelli, even though he had a sensational debut season. It’s easy to get carried away, nonetheless, we should remain level-headed about what we expect from his return in the new year.