Mikel Arteta can't recall £6m teen, could be first mistake as Arsenal boss

(L-R) Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Granit Xhaka, Gabriel Martinelli and Dani Ceballos of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on August 31, 2019 in St Albans, England.

Gabriel Martinelli was an unused sub for Arsenal this past weekend.

Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal hits the cross-bar during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.

Mikel Areta has only had 10 games in top-flight management as Arsenal's head coach, but it's going okay so far.

The Gunners have only managed two Premier League wins under him, but conceding eight goals in those 10 matches is a big improvement, considering they conceded 18 in Unai Emery's last 10.

Arteta hasn't named identical back-to-back first XIs yet in what could be interpreted as a sign that the Spaniard still trying to figure out what his best side is.

On Sunday, Arsenal thumped Newcastle United 4-0 at the Emirates in what was Eddie Nketiah's first start in the Premier League.


Nketiah didn't score, and therefore there will be calls for Arteta to recall Gabriel Martinelli, but Arteta needs to stick with the 20-year-old striker.

If it isn't broken then don't fix it and although Nketiah wasn't among the goals in North London this past weekend, he showed enough to deserve a second crack at the whip in their next league game away to Everton on Sunday.

Martinelli,a £6 million signing last summer [The Telegraph], is a more exciting prospect than Nketiah, a player who Jurgen Klopp called the 'talent of the century' and no doubt he has a glittering next 10 or 12 years ahead of him.

But in the short term, dropping Nketiah for the 18-year-old Brazilian would be a mistake. Arteta places a huge amount of significance on training. If you train well from Monday to Friday then there's a good chance you'll be picked on the Saturday or Sunday.

Nketiah has evidently trained well but if he gets dropped, on the back of a 4-0 win - the club's biggest league victory of the season - then it sends a horrible message and potentially stifles other players' motivation.

Arteta, still in the infancy of his senior management career, is undeniably going to make mistakes along the way, and hopefully he'll learn from them, but if Nketiah continues to show more hunger behind-the-scenes than his rival team-mates then there's no way he should be leaving the first XI when Everton visit North London, even if it is a talent like Martinelli snapping at his heels.

Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on July 06, 2019 in St Albans, England.

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