Arsenal ‘can’t afford to take risk’ over £90k-a-week star at Emirates

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal ‘can’t afford to take a risk’ over the future of star forward Gabriel Martinelli given his recent form, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The 21-year-old has started the current campaign in impressive fashion following a strong end to last term and has firmly established himself in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.

What is the latest news involving Martinelli?

Martinelli has just under two years remaining on his existing £90,000-per-week contract and is believed to be on Arsenal’s list of players who they are keen to tie down to fresh terms.

Reliable reporter Fabrizio Romano has recently revealed that Bukayo Saka is the priority for the Gunners at this moment in time but that the Brazil international and William Saliba are just behind him.

“Martinelli is another player on the list for a contract extension, and Saliba too – nothing completed yet,” wrote Romano in his column for CaughtOffside.

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And the Arsenal hierarchy may be forced to fend off competition for the South American’s signature in the near future if they can’t come to an agreement over a new deal, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp among his admirers.

“Martinelli by the way, everybody should remember that name because he’s an outstanding player,” said Klopp at the start of the year. 

What has Jones said about Martinelli?

Jones told GiveMeSport that Arsenal ‘need to reward’ players like Martinelli as he would get into ‘pretty much any Champions League squad’.

He said: “Martinelli has a couple of years left, but Arsenal, of course, need to reward players like this and bump up their pay as soon as they recognise that these players are going to be in demand from elsewhere.

“And we’ve already seen comments from other managers acknowledging the quality of Martinelli. This is a player who would get into pretty much any Champions League squad, and Arsenal just can’t afford to take a risk with his future.”

How well has Martinelli been playing?

Martinelli has played a pivotal part in Arsenal’s fast start to 2022/23, finding the back of the net on three occasions in the north London outfit’s opening seven games.

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As per FBref, the creative talent has also ranked in the 94th percentile for blocks and touches in the attacking penalty area, 87th for aerial duels won, and 85th for total shots amongst his positional peers over the last year.

Martinelli is also currently Arsenal’s only natural left-winger, and Arteta will surely be eager for him to commit his long-term future to the capital club imminently.

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