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Mikel Arteta speaks on Martinelli as the Arsenal star struggles in goals and assists

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Mikel Arteta speaks on Martinelli as the Arsenal star struggles in goals and assists
Mikel Arteta - Gabriel Martinelli (Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta addresses concerns surrounding Martinelli‘s performance as the Arsenal star faces challenges in goal contributions.

Arteta remains firm in his stance, stating that Gabriel Martinelli isn’t battling with confidence and remains a significant offensive force, despite his recent shortfall in goals and assists.

Last season, the Brazilian winger showcased his prowess, tallying an impressive 15 goals and five assists across 36 appearances.

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However, this season has presented a different narrative as Martinelli has struggled to mirror his prior form, having scored only twice and provided two assists in 16 top-flight matches so far.

READ ALSO: Concerns as Kepa set to return to Chelsea after Real Madrid loan expires

But Arteta has played down concerns over Martinelli ahead of the Gunners’ clash against West Ham at the Emirates on Thursday after he missed a key chance in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool last time out.

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‘It’s difficult [to explain],’ Arteta said on Wednesday. ‘Sometimes it’s decision-making, sometimes it’s hitting the post or missing a chance.

‘He is really trying. He is a massive threat for us. Everything that he generates with and without the ball, the pressure he puts on the backline, he is a key player for us and things will happen [for him] again.

‘Confidence is not a problem for Martinelli. Sometimes he needs to put the break down or lift his head up and make that decision for everybody.

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‘That’s the most difficult thing to do, finding that composure and timing inside the box. But lack of confidence is not going to be an issue for him.’

Meanwhile, Arteta has provided an injury update on Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey ahead of the match against West Ham.

Quizzed if they could return before they head off for international duty, Arteta added: ‘There is a chance.

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‘We’ll have to see. They haven’t trained yet. Hopefully, they can evolve in the right way.

‘Nothing has changed [for the West Ham match]. We’re not going to have those two, then we have the suspension of Kai [Havertz].’

Arsenal will return to the top of the Premier League table if they pick up three points against the Hammers, who beat Manchester United in their last match.

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