Gabriel Martinelli was unable to continue in the second half of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup quarter-final after a clash with Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen left him in tears in the first half. The goalkeeper followed through after clearing his lines and clattered the ankle of Martinelli, who was making his first start for the Gunners upon return from a serious knee injury.
At first, it looked like yet another major blow for the Brazilian, who was writing around in pain on the turf.
Upon receiving medical attention, he pulled his shirt over his face and appeared to cry in pictures that would have left Arsenal fans fearing the worst.
There were traces of blood on Martinelli’s sock, which shed light on the impact from the injury.
Yet to everybody’s surprise, Martinelli was then ready to re-enter the fray after some treatment.
Instead, he went and sat on the bench where he was able to ice the injury.
Martinelli made his long-awaited senior return on Saturday in the 2-1 defeat at Everton.
Ahead of the clash with City, Arteta urged Arsenal fans not to put pressure on the young man’s shoulders amid claims he could save Arsenal’s season.
“We cannot put that pressure on his shoulders,” Arteta said.
“It’s not fair for him. He brings that enthusiasm that the fans can see because he’s got something special, a special energy every time he steps on that field.
“But remember that Gabi, what he’s done in the Premier League, the time that he’s been with us is very limited. Let him develop, like we are doing with many other young kids that we have here.
“It’s the same with many other young players that are probably taking more responsibility than perhaps they should do in this moment.
“It’s the squad that we have at the moment and what we have to manage. They have to try to do their best but I don’t think it’s fair to put all the pressure on them now as well.”