‘Arsenal will find it difficult to keep Martinelli’ – Teenage forward hailed by Gunners icon Wright

Arsenal may find it “very difficult to keep hold of” Gabriel Martinelli, admits club legend Ian Wright, with the youngster’s early showings for the club suggesting that he is destined to reach the top.

The highly-rated 18-year-old made the move to England during the summer transfer window of 2019.

Those at Emirates Stadium fended off rival interest from Manchester United to lure the highly-rated teenager away from Ituano in his native Brazil.

Martinelli has impressed during his short time in north London, with nine goals recorded in 20 appearances across all competitions.

Wright has been on hand to offer words of advice to a fellow frontman but fears that he may attract unwelcome interest from afar, telling Radio 5 Live: "When you see him you can see there is a hunger and a determination about him. I've been in contact with him with texts and things, you can see that all he wants to do is do well.

"He's so hungry. I think it's only Jadon Sancho as a teenager who has scored more goals than him in the top five leagues so he's somebody that has definitely got something in him.

"We're lucky to have him and if he carries on improving the way he is, then it's going to be very difficult to keep hold of him.

"If they can create chances, the way he moves into the box, he's going to score goals and that is what we need to concentrate on with Arsenal, scoring more goals and creating more chances."

Arsenal are looking to the likes of Martinelli for inspiration with club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang currently serving a three-match ban. 

Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal 2019-20

Alexandre Lacazette is also being asked to step up in the absence of his prolific presence, but the Frenchman has gone seven games without a goal.

Wright is not overly concerned by that barren run and hopes that supporters keep faith with those scratching around for form under new boss Mikel Arteta.

He added: "It's a worry, when you consider what he does bring to the team, he's literally the only striker at the club who can play the way he does with his back to goal but you can see at the moment that he doesn't look like he is going to score.

"His away goalscoring record is a little bit of a worry and then you add into that the fact he's on a poor scoring run, you're hoping he can get one because what he is contributing to the team, keeping them in that third of the team and linking play, is brilliant but you do need goals.

"[Nicolas] Pepe, yes you need more from him in terms of goals because I think his form in taking players on now, he's getting much better, and I think we're going to see more from Reiss Nelson, Arteta has a lot of faith in him.

"I hope we're going to see more from Martinelli. I think that he's got to come from the left. Can Eddie Nketiah come in and play with his back to goal? We're hoping so as he's been called back from loan and he's been impressive in training, hopefully he sees enough from him and gives him a go.

"You do need patience with Lacazette but with Aubameyang missing for another couple of games, the fans are saying we need goals from him, it's a bit unfair, they're totally dismissive what he does in holding the ball up for the team and attack teams.

"He himself will want to score because it will get his confidence going but I think they should have a bit more patience with him for what he does. We need him to be confident, he's going through a hard time in front of goal."