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Emery admits Gabriel Martinelli has impressed him from pre-season

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has said that Gabriel Martinelli has impressed him right from the beginning of pre-season and believes the teenager can prove a quality purchase for the Gunners. The Brazilian forward was the club’s first signing of the summer transfer window from Ituano but he made his debut during the closing stages of the season opener against Newcastle United.

Since then, he has been an unused substitute on many occasions but he has recently made the headlines with braces against Nottingham Forest and Standard Liege in the League Cup and Europa League respectively. Speaking after the 4-0 triumph over Liege, Emery said that Martinelli has impressed everyone at the club from pre-season and believes the youngster can have a bright career with the Gunners ahead.

He told in a press conference: “I saw him in pre-season and he was working and in each training showing us his hunger. In pre-season he was perfect all the time with us in training, and I spoke to him to be calm because when he arrived with an opportunity to play like tonight, if he continues with this hunger then I think he will do well.”

Arsenal are scheduled to host Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium for the weekend’s Premier League meeting and Martinelli may have to settle for a bench role. The Brazilian could, however, be handed with some minutes off the bench, should Emery decide to replace one of Bukayo Saka or Nicolas Pepe during the backend of the game.

Nonetheless, there are no assurances of regular gametime in the Premier League particularly with Alexandre Lacazette expected to return from injury, and Martinelli will have to make most of the opportunities from the bench to change the stance of the manager. The Gunners are currently on a seven-match unbeaten streak across all competitions.