Arteta confirms 22yo will miss PSV clash as Arsenal prepare for ‘proud and exciting’ CL return

Mikel Arteta during a training session. Credit: Alamy
Mikel Arteta during a training session. Credit: Alamy

Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli will not be fit to face PSV in the Champions League on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta has confirmed.

Martinelli sustained a hamstring injury in the win at Everton on Sunday and was replaced by match-winner Leandro Trossard in the first half.

The Brazilian international did have the ball in the net minutes before being withdrawn but his strike was ruled out for a very tight offside call on Eddie Nketiah.

Having played a huge part in getting Arsenal back into the Champions League after a six-year hiatus, Martinelli will be gutted to miss their first match back in the competition.

Speaking ahead of the match against PSV, Arteta confirmed Martinelli will be absent.

“He felt something in his hamstring and we need to do some further tests to assess if there’s any big damage,” he told reporters.

“He will be out for tomorrow. It’s a possibility (he will be available for Spurs).”

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This is the 22nd Champions League campaign for the Gunners and Arteta says he is “looking forward” to managing in the competition for the first time.

“Proud and excited,” he said. “It’s been a long time for the club since we’ve been in the competition.

“We’re looking forward to it.

“Players that have played for many years, some have won it. Mixing that experience with some who will make their debuts.”

A huge talking point this week has been Arsenal’s goalkeeper situation after David Raya replaced Aaron Ramsdale in the starting XI against Everton.

Arteta has caused a stir after claiming he might substitute his ‘keepers in future matches and it was no surprise to see the Spaniard quizzed on Ramsdale and Raya in his press conference.

“For me, there is nothing different,” he explained. “We’ve been doing it for many years. When Bernd [Leno] was here we bought Aaron.”

On the differences between Ramsdale and Raya, Arteta said: “It’s not something I would want to get into. Every player has different characteristics.”

Arteta also confirmed that midfielder Mohamed Elneny is close to returning from a “significant injury”. “He’s in the final stages of that process,” he said.

Speaking alongside Arteta, Gabriel Jesus said insisted Arsenal can win the Champions League this season.

“Of course,” Jesus responded when asked if it is possible. “All the competitions, all the trophies we will go to win for. The Champions League is the same.

“If we think opposite we are wrong because we are playing for Arsenal.”

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