Arsenal in rare boost as Gabriel Martinelli resumes first-team training after SIX months out with knee injury

GABRIEL MARTINELLI is back training with Arsenal’s first team after six months out with a knee injury.

The Brazilian made his comeback for the Under-23s on December 8 and he could soon be in contention for a place in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

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Gabriel Martinelli is back training with Arsenal’s first-team after six months out[/caption]

He suffered the painful blow in training and has had a long road to recovery.

But Gooners will be delighted to see the youngster back involved with the senior pros.

He was pictured alongside outcast Mesut Ozil and defender Pablo Mari as he trained at London Colney.

Last season’s 11-goal sensation said it was a ‘great feeling’ to rack up 45 minutes for the Gunners’ youth team in a 3-0 Papa John’s Trophy defeat at AFC Wimbledon earlier this month.

But the Gunners will ease the 19-year-old back carefully after the left knee problem.

Martinelli posted after his comeback:  “It was a great feeling to get minutes tonight – huge thanks to the medical and physio teams at Arsenal for their fantastic work and to the fans for the amazing support during my long recovery.” 

The Brazil Under-23 international became the first Arsenal teenager to reach double figures in a single campaign when he broke through last season.

But despite his recent promising return, Mikel Arteta has urged fans not to expect Martinelli to save their season following Arsenal’s recent dismal run of performances.

He said: “Gabi is another one that even in a moment of adversity, you see him training and everything he brings to the team, his energy, his passion, his motivation, is translating positive emotions to everybody.

“He tries and goes and goes again and he wants to score a goal.

“He’s ruthless in training in every single action and the more players and staff you have to add that, at the end that gets translated to what happens on the football pitch and over time you will be stable.

“Gabi’s pressing brings something different to the team and we need players like him.

“Time is the key word in this industry, and nobody is going to give you time. The moment the ball doesn’t go in the net and you lose a match, you’re going to question all the rest, so with Gabi it’s the same.

“Now he needs time. He’s done it for a period of time and in certain moments throughout a game, but consistently for three years, two or one?

“He’s never done it. I’m sorry, but he’s never done it, so we cannot put that pressure on him.

“It’s like with Bukayo Saka and other young players that we have, they’ve never done it in their career, so why do you expect him to do it today?

“And in which environment? In which context? Patience, but he’s a positive guy to have back on the team because he’s such a character.”

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