Mikel Arteta has yet another headache to contend with ahead of the new season (opinion)

Rex Nseobong July 3, 2021


Arsenal’s new Premier League season commences roughly six weeks from now, and the Gunners are still trying to fit the pieces in their jigsaw with new signings.

Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Ben White look likely to be the fresh pieces that will be installed. However, the old ones that no longer fit, will also have to be removed. That’s already an uphill battle for technical director Edu, the new Director of Football Richard Garlick and manager Mikel Arteta have on their hands. But the latest development of Gabriel Martinelli heading to the Olympics just made things a tad more complicated.

Martinelli and Gabriel made the cut alongside Richarlison and Dani Alves

The young Brazilian will join up with defender Gabriel Magalhães for the upcoming Olympic Games with his country aiming to lift the title for the second successive time, after Neymar led the team to glory at Rio in 2016.

If Brazil end up reaching the final (which is on 6th August), both will be expected to miss the whole course of the pre-season, as well as the first match against Brentford, which is scheduled for the 13th.

Although Arsenal have enough players to cover the duo, the real worry on Mikel Arteta’s head will be injuries to their replacements. But let’s keep that thought to one side.

Roughly two years ago we signed the Brazilian livewire

The Olympic games can prove to be a massive development phase for the Arsenal duo, who will play in their first major senior tournament. Experience is priceless, and no doubt The Gunners will be rooting for the duo from London.

Martinelli and Gabriel’s inclusion means one thing to me: I will be become a Brazilian till the time the nation manages to stay in the competition, with both likely to play key roles throughout the tournament.

However, competition for places will be high in the Brazil national team. Gabriel is expected to be a more fundamental part of the starting 11 than Martinelli, but the young winger might make a positive impact during the course of the tournament. Who knows he might end up nicking a winning goal in the final (just the thought made me emotional).

Yash Bisht


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