Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere admits he was ‘surprised’ by Mikel Arteta’s treatment of Gabriel Martinelli but insists the attacker will ‘prosper’ when fans return
- Jack Wilshere thinks Gabriel Martinelli should have played more last season
- The Brazilian made just seven Premier League starts after returning from injury
- Wilshere admitted he was surprised by Mikel Arteta’s reluctance to use him
- But the former Gunners midfielder backed the Brazilian for a big season
Jack Wilshere believes Gabriel Martinelli deserved more playing time at Arsenal last season and admitted he was ‘surprised’ by Mikel Arteta’s reluctance to play against him.
Martinelli made nine starts in all competitions after returning from a knee injury in December, but was rarely used as an impact substitute as he was dropped from the starting squad.
Wilshere, who left the Gunners in 2018, thinks the Brazilian could have been called upon more when Arteta’s side was out on the hunt for games.
Jack Wilshere thinks Gabriel Martinelli deserved more playing time at Arsenal last season
Wilshere said he was surprised that Mikel Arteta (left) didn’t turn to the attacker more often
He told Highbury Squad“I was sometimes surprised that Arsenal needed a goal, they needed something and he wasn’t put on the line.
“He’s the kind of player who can do that. He comes in the box.
“He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. You can’t teach them things.’
Martinelli impressed during his first season at Arsenal, scoring 10 goals after arriving from Brazil’s Ituano in 2019. But a combination of injuries and limited playing time left him with just two goals and two assists last season.
Wilshere believes the Brazilian has a bright future despite a frustrating 12 months
Despite a frustrating 12 months, Wilshere believes the attacker has a bright future and has supported him to get better once fans return to the stadiums.
“I have a feeling he will only get better with experience playing in the big games,” he added.
“I really think he is a player who will thrive when he has the fans back.
“I remember the game at Chelsea when he scored that goal. He just got better and better as the game went on and the fans got behind him.
“I’m excited to see more of him.”
Wilshere is currently a free agent after being released from Championship side Bournemouth.