If Unai Emery believed things couldn’t get any worst for him and his Arsenal side, the 2-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday proved him wrong.
Two goals in 10 second-half minutes from Daichi Kamada turned the game on its head, much to the disappointment of a partially-filled Emirates Stadium.
One of the bright sparks from the glum evening in North London was Gabriel Martinelli, who not only pressed the Frankfurt defence all game but also put the ball on a plate for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener in the first half.
Despite shining once again, it was Martinelli who was sacrificed just before Frankfurt’s second for the more-experienced Mesut Ozil.
Many Arsenal fans took to Twitter to react to Martinelli’s performance, with the majority blown away by the impact he makes on each game that he starts for the Gunners.
Gabriel Martinelli is a warrior.
— Danny WelBeast (@WelBeast) November 28, 2019
Martinelli is class.
— Healy (@MarkHealyAFC) November 28, 2019
Martinelli is soooo good. #Arsenal #COYG
— Mari Lyn (@Jam_AFC3) November 28, 2019
Martinelli is always the exception he’s unreal
— Dan ? (@_afcDan) November 28, 2019
Martinelli is different gravy! Absolute baller #afc #martinelli
— FMCatenaccio (@FmCatenaccio) November 28, 2019
Beautiful move that from Martinelli a great run followed by a terrific pass
— ArsenalFootball.co (@AFCFootballco) November 28, 2019
Another bunch of Arsenal fans had big plans for the future of the South American wonderkid, with some predicting that he could even win the Ballon d’Or.
Martinelli is a future ballon d'or winner confirmed
— AFCSKY #EmeryOut (@Skylar70806105) November 28, 2019
Gabriel Martinelli is a future Ballon D’Or winner
— Lyle (@afclyle) November 28, 2019
Martinelli is the future, can't wait to see him developing next years. #Arsenal
— . (@Flagronhysenii) November 28, 2019
Does Martinelli deserve a chance in the Premier League?
With Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette certain to start matches together, it leaves one spot up for grabs in the league.
Summer signing Nicolas Pepe has not delivered what was expected of him since he arrived, and it has been Martinelli who has been in fine form in front of goal.
The 18-year-old has scored seven goals in his six competitive starts for the Gunners in Europe and the EFL Cup, and if that isn’t enough to prove he should be given a chance in the Premier League, we don’t know what is.
In the Europa League, he has been on fire, averaging 3.3 shots on goal per game according to WhoScored, highlighting his ability to get into many goalscoring opportunities in each outing.
With Emery’s men struggling to consistently perform, it is time to hand Martinelli his first start in the Premier League, and Sunday’s game against Norwich, a team in the relegation zone is the perfect opportunity.