Martinelli ready to shoulder goalscoring burden

Gabriel Martinelli during a press conference

Gabriel Martinelli has suggested that he’s more than happy to burden our goalscoring responsibilities if required, starting with today’s game against Sporting CP.

The Brazilian forward has netted four times in his last four games, taking his tally to 11 in the Premier League and becoming our top scorer in the division in the process. The recent flurry has been especially crucial with Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Leonardo Trossard all on the sidelines during that time.

So having already stepped up to the plate, he feels he is more than ready to be counted on to add to that haul if required when our Europa League campaign resumes with a round of 16 tie in Portugal.

Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Sporting game, he said: “If I’m the number nine or on the wing, I always try to do my best and help the team by scoring or getting an assist. 

“It’s up to Mikel - wherever he decides to play me, I’ll play. If the team need me I’d play as a goalkeeper! We play for Arsenal and everyone has this responsibility.”

The Brazilian international’s form has been all the more impressive after he found himself benched for a couple of matches with Trossard handed a starting spot instead. 

However rather than letting that get him down, Gabi responded to that setback with his latest spurt of goalscoring form, and he is just happy to contribute in any way he can for the betterment of the team - as shown by his desire to see his international teammate Gabriel Jesus make an imminent first-team return.

Reflecting on his time out of the side, he said: “I just kept working hard, I always try to do my best on and off the pitch and that’s what I did.

“[Jesus] is a great guy and a great player. I’ve said it many times, for me, he’s one of the best in the world. He’s going to help us a lot over the next few months.”

Outsiders have suggested we may take our eye off the ball when it comes to Europe this season with us sitting on top of the Premier League table, but that is not on Gabi’s mind.

He is adamant that we have to keep winning as many matches as possible, regardless of the competition, to try and ensure that our supporters have something to savour come the end of the season.

“If you play for Arsenal you need to go into any competition to win,” he added. “That’s our mentality. It’s Sporting tomorrow and we’re going there to win.

“I love [the supporters] and I hope they love me as well. I always do my best to try and make them happy.”

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