Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been told he already has his own version of Brazil legend Ronaldo waiting in the wings in the form of teenager Gabriel Martinelli. Gunners hero Kevin Campbell thinks the teenager has all the qualities to be a star for Arsenal.
Arsenal suffered a disappointing defeat against Aston Villa on Sunday, as they were made to pay for a series of defensive errors.
Arteta’s side were poor going forward, and failed to create enough chances for the front three of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Willian and Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal’s midfielders struggled to get the ball forward for the attackers, and as a result they were blunt in front of goal.
Arteta took off Lacazette and Willian later in the game for Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe, but even they were unable to break down Dean Smith’s resilient Villa side.
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But the Gunners boss could receive a boost in the coming months with the return of Martinelli.
The 19-year-old Brazilian attacker burst onto the scene last season after firing ten goals in all competitions from 26 games.
But his superb start to life at the Emirates was halted after he suffered a season-ending knee injury back in March, and was forced to undergo surgery.
He is now back in light training, and could return before the end of the calendar year.
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Former Gunners striker Campbell believes he could be exactly what Arteta needs, and predicted the youngster will get his chance in the side.
He compared Martinelli to Brazil icon Ronaldo, saying he plays in a similar way to El Phenomenon.
Campbell did, however, warn against placing lofty expectations on the 19-year-old, and said he will need time to develop after returning from his injury.
“I think Martinelli is the one, I really do,” he told Football Insider.
“Martinelli was sensational when he came in last season.
“He is a real handful – strong, direct and reminds me of the Brazilian Ronaldo.
“The way that he picks up the ball and runs at goal is phenomenal.
“I am not saying that he is Ronaldo but he reminds me of him, especially with that goal he scored at Chelsea.
“[He’s got a] big future but I do not want to put too much pressure on him because he suffered that injury and he needs time to come back and get his feet under the table again, get comfortable and play games.
“Players tend to get long-term injuries and then come back and pick a niggle up somewhere else.
“He will need time to get back into the swing of things.”
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