Mikel Arteta was questioned at length about some of his players in Friday’s press conference ahead of the Leeds game.
Why isn’t Gabriel Martinelli starting? Will Mat Ryan keep his place? What’s the latest on Folarin Balogun’s future?
This is what he told the media:
on why Martinelli isn’t starting most games…
Well, he came back and did really well, but then he picked up another injury. It took him a while to come and now it’s about getting in his rhythm and getting his place in the team like anybody else. Don’t forget that we played him last time against Manchester United and he started ahead of other players, so it’s not like he’s not having the opportunities. We know that he’s got a huge potential and he’s done some really good things since he’s come back. He has a lot of things to develop in his game because of course at his age it’s normal.
on whether Balogun will leave at the end of the season…
No, I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager. As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months.
on the competition for places between Leno and Ryan…
I think Mat played a really good game, and for a first game he played for us after so little training I think he was really good. I really like the way he reacted because conceding that goal on your debut so early, and still reacting the way he did showed a lot of character from him. That is why we brought him here because he has to be an option and he has to keep pushing Bernd.
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