Arteta urged to use loan system to give struggling youngster more playing time

Gabriel Martinelli has struggled to play for Arsenal this season and Express Sports’ Lewis Winter believes the Brazilian could qualify for a loan move in the January transfer window.

He wrote in his column: “It might be better if Martinelli spent his regular playing time elsewhere.

“Emile Smith Rowe is a great example of a player who came back from a loan spell a much better player.

“Smith Rowe was unsuccessful at RB Leipzig, but it was in the second half of the 2019/20 campaign at Huddersfield that he blossomed.

“The 21-year-old is now a nailed down starter for Arteta in his best XI.

“Arteta has also recently highlighted the competition Martinelli faces in attacking areas.

“It’s true – he’s unlikely to get ahead of Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette anytime soon.

“Nicolas Pepe has had a poor start to the season but also seems to be top of the pecking order for Arteta.

“If these players stay fit before January, then allowing Martinelli to leave on loan might be one of the best decisions Arteta makes.”

Regular playing time is the name of the game for youngsters and it affects their long-term development.

Martinelli showed more than enough ability to play just a handful of games for us.

The Brazilian is easily one of the most talented strikers at the club at the moment but he would need regular playing time to show what he can do consistently.

Admittedly, his best spell at Arsenal was under Unai Emery and we can only wonder how good he would have been had the current Villarreal manager still been in charge at the Emirates.

At 20, Martinelli still has plenty of time to reach his best, but he may need to spend some time away from the Emirates to prove his worth to Mikel Arteta.

People like William Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi have done this before and we can all see how they thrive in a new environment.