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Kieran Tierney’s sends message to Gabriel Martinelli after Mikel Arteta admits problems

Kieran Tierney’s sends message to Gabriel Martinelli after Mikel Arteta admits problems

Kieran Tierney has been full of applause for Arsenal youngster Gabriel Martinelli after Mikel Arteta hinted they were not a good fit together on the pitch.

The Emirates faithful clamored to see more of the Brazilian last season but the Gunners manager did not award them their wish.

The 20-year-old started just four Premier League matches last year with a further ten appearances coming from the substitutes bench.

Martinelli can play through the middle but with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him, he is usually used on the left wing.

And the fact Tierney is one of the first stars on the teamsheet at left-back is perhaps limiting his game time.

Arteta hinted that Tierney’s desire to get forward coupled with Martinelli’s defensive frailties doesn’t provide a good balance for Arsenal.


One of Martinelli’s best displays of the season came in a 2-0 win against Newcastle when Granit Xhaka took Tierney’s place at left-back due to injury.

Arteta said: “Gabi is improving every week, he’s taking his minutes in the right way and he is developing in the way we all believe he can.

“He had an assist and it was an important moment. He had some good moments off the left and also playing as the nine as well.

“It is a connection there.

“I think having Granit behind him helps him in a way because he’s more in the line, in the last line, on the left when he is more comfortable.

“With Kieran it’s a little bit different. Those relationships we have to feel.”

Arsenal supporters hope Arteta can find a way to get both Tierney and Martinelli on the pitch at the same time moving forward.

And Tierney holds the same way as he celebrated his teammate during a Twitter Q&A with fans.

@AFCKG asked: “How’s it feel to be privileged to be playing alongside Gabi Martinelli?

Tierney replied: “What a guy. What a player.”

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown insisted Arteta wasn’t a fan of Martinelli after was rested for the first leg of the Europa League semi-final at Villarreal.

He said: “The manager doesn’t like him. It’s as simple as that.”

But the Spanish manager insists that’s not the case and Martinelli is a big part of the club’s future

Arteta said: “Guys, I love Gabi so much, more than all of you together.

“Just look at how much he’s played in the last two years and how much he has played with me when he’s been available and then we can discuss that.

“This is just what happens. This debate is always happening when you don’t win. If it wasn’t him, it would be someone else. It would be [Alexandre] Lacazette, or Willian or Pepe.”

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Kieran Tierney’s sends message to Gabriel Martinelli after Mikel Arteta admits problems

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