Sheffield United vs Arsenal
Arsenal are back in Premier League action this evening.
The Gunners are set to face off with Premier League basement dwellers, Sheffield United, at Bramall Lane.
Mikel Arteta’s side head into the day’s action sitting down in 11th place in the English top-flight.
At present, Arsenal are a full seven points off 6th place, and 12 adrift of the final Champions League spot.
Whilst the clash is therefore unlikely to mean much when it comes to securing European football, the north Londoners are nevertheless no doubt keen to secure a confidence boost, ahead of their second-leg meeting with Slavia Prague next week.
Arteta on Gabriel Martinelli
Ahead of the tie, Mikel Arteta has been discussing Gabriel Martinelli.
The Brazilian has been used sparingly since his return from injury, notching just 22 minutes of Premier League action since the beginning of February.
Despite such struggles, though, Arteta has assured that Martinelli has a bright future at Arsenal, and will be afforded ‘all the opportunities he needs’.
When drawn on the frustrations of Arsenal’s fans regarding the forward’s lack of minutes, the Spaniard stated:
“That I understand.
“When the team is not winning enough football matches, we always look for someone else to do it.
“I respect that, and Gabi is doing really well. He is doing better every day, he is getting the right development.
“We have to be a little bit patient with him but he has a bright future at the club and he will have all the opportunities that he needs to show how good he is and the career he can have with us.”
Arteta also discussed why Martinelli has not been starting very often recently, suggesting that his lack of game-time comes due to the competition for places amongst the young talent at the Emirates:
“We cannot put six or seven young kids out there,” he said. “We need some cohesion, we need the timing.
“Gabi has a lot of things to improve. He has got big qualities as well, and we have other players in those positions.
“Then we have to create links within the team and balance within the team. This will come.”
Quotes via Goal.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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