Owen Hargreaves told Premier League Productions that Gabriel Martinelli is a ‘huge talent’ for Arsenal.
The former England midfielder thinks if the Arsenal speedster can stay out of the treatment room then he can be ‘one of the best’ players in the Premier League.
Martinelli has been limited to only six Premier League starts this term, through injury and then Mikel Arteta opting against using him regularly.
But on Sunday, he started Arsenal’s win against Newcastle, provided an assist and produced a Man of the Match display for his side.
It was just a reminder of the talent the teenager has in his boots, as Hargreaves thinks he can go to the very top.
“I love Martinelli,” said Hargreaves. “I think he’s such a great player. Obviously, he has had some injury issues – but this ball (for Aubameyang’s goal v Newcastle), with his weaker foot, it’s a dream ball, isn’t it?!
“The thing I like about Martinelli for a flair player is that he puts a shift in. He works incredibly hard.
“I think technically he is very good. He glides by people quite effortlessly. The cool thing is that he can play through the middle, he can play off the left and he can go right.
“So, I think there is a huge talent in there and for Arsenal fans, and you think about with Saka and Smith Rowe, they have a fabulous player, who I think has the potential to become one of the best players in the Premier League. But he has to stay fit. But he’s a special player.”
Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka starting regularly from now until the end of the season would be the dream for Arsenal fans.
If Arteta doesn’t start Martinelli on Thursday, and they get knocked out, then questions will be asked.
But, at the very least, Martinelli should now earn starts in the Premier League because Arsenal don’t have much to fight for, from a realistic standpoint, in that regard, other than finishing ninth or tenth.