Martinelli has to ‘curb natural instincts’ and ‘sacrifice’ when playing with Arsenal teammate

·2-min read
Arsenal retain Martinelli Credit: Alamy
Arsenal retain Martinelli Credit: Alamy

Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has to “curb his natural instincts” and “sacrifice himself” when playing with Eddie Nketiah, according to Kevin Campbell.

Martinelli has enjoyed a brilliant season for the Gunners and is their top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals.

But his form dipped at the start of the calendar year when Nketiah came into the team to replace the injured Gabriel Jesus.

And Campbell explained why it’s no coincidence that the Brazilian is thriving again with January signing Leandro Trossard now playing in place of Nketiah.

“I do (think he’s playing better with Trossard). I think when Martinelli was playing with Eddie he had to curb his natural insticts,” Campbell said.

“His natural instinct is to go inside. When he goes inside, Eddie doesn’t have the game to go outside to get the movement going. Jesus does and Trossard does, so Martinelli had to stick to the left side, which is easier as a full-back.

“Eddie just doesn’t have that type of game. Sometimes I think Martinelli had to sacrifice himself a little bit when he was playing with Eddie to help Eddie get the goals and stay on that left side. It didn’t quite work out for him and he got dropped.”

Martinelli was culpable as Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League on penalties last week, as the 21-year-old missed the crucial spot-kick against Sporting Lisbon.

But he got right back on track against Crystal Palace, with his goal in the 4-1 win meaning he’s now scored six goals in his last six Premier League games.

Reacting to his midweek penalty miss after the win over Palace, Martinelli said he had managed to put the moment behind him.

“It’s life,” he said of his failure to convert from 12 yards. “Not every game you are going to score and play well. Of course, I was sad and spent the whole night thinking about that penalty, but it is over.

“I scored a goal today and we got the three points, the most important thing.”

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