Arteta quizzed about Aubameyang as Arsenal defeat West Ham
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Arsenal attacker Gabriel Martinelli has been compared to Gunners great Thierry Henry after scoring an excellent goal against West Ham on Wednesday night. The Brazilian’s finish was reminiscent of goals scored by legendary Frenchman Henry.
Martinelli collected a through ball, ran between two Hammers defenders before opening up his body and caressing the ball into the corner of the net.
His strike opened the scoring in the eventual 2-0 win and set Arsenal on their way to a place in the Premier League’s top four.
Joe Cole was effusive in his praise for the 20-year-old, who has had to overcome successive long-term injuries and is now in fine form.
Former Chelsea star Cole noticed the likeness in the finish to that of Henry, who scored 228 goals for Arsenal.
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“Defender, no chance. That’s an unbelievable finish, it reminds me of a certain number 14 who used to play here a few years ago,” Cole told BT Sport, referencing Henry’s iconic Arsenal shirt number.
“Great finish and, again, young, vibrant. [Alexandre] Lacazette dropping in that pocket, he’ll be loving life. He’ll be thinking: ‘give me more of this, these young lads running around me, buzzing round.”
Martinelli now has two goals and two assists in his last five Premier League matches.
The improvement in form comes at a good time for Mikel Arteta, who is re-shaping his forward line after ostracising former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
However, the Spaniard has told Martinelli where he needs to improve.
“Physically he was cramping again today. He needs to mature on that side of the game. He’s able to put some gears into his play instead of doing everything 100 miles per hour,” the Arsenal boss said afterwards.
“His overall understanding of the game is getting much better. The energy and the quality that he shows sometimes is top.”
Martinelli now has 14 goals in 61 appearances for Arsenal since arriving from Brazilian club Ituano in 2019.
“It was a very good game,” the forward told BT Sport.
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“The win was so important for the team. We know the potential we have. It was a great victory. I am so happy.
“We like to see the fans like that and cheer us on. We knew it was going to be a very difficult game but we have a very good group.
“They were defending well and we were waiting for the moment. Thank you Laca (Lacazette) for the assist! I want to play every time.
“We are a team. We are together. It’s up to Mikel [Arteta] and the whole team to decide who will be captain.”
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