Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Arsenal: 3 players most effected by Gabriel Martinelli transfer.

Arsenal have announced their first signing of the season, and it’s Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli. The implications are up for debate, but here are three players most effected.

Arsenal, Alex Iwobi, Gabriel Martinelli (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

As expected, as soon as the Adidas kit launch was announced, Arsenal made their first move. While it wasn’t a gangbusters game-changer, it’s an exciting signing nonetheless—18-year-old Brazilian starlet Gabriel Martinelli. Who we all kind of knew was coming to the club already, but he’s officially in the red and white now.

Given that he is 18-years-old, you wouldn’t expect the ripples of his signing to go too deep into the club, especially with it not known what the plan is, whether he will be loaned out, or featured in the U23s, or go straight in the first team. With how many wingers have been linked to the club, you have to wonder if Matinelli can’t be the Matteo Guendouzi of the wings this year.

Stranger things have happened, and we can’t rule it out.

Still, there is a lot to be figured out still, but players are still going to be effected by his arrival, so let’s talk about the three guys that will be feeling the effects the most. We start with No. 3.

3. Alex Iwobi

You wouldn’t think that an 18-year-old straight from Brazil would be an immediate issue for someone who is embedded in the first team like Alex Iwobi, but the big issue for Iwobi is that Martinelli specializes as a left winger.

Even if Martinelli has the propensity to play as a striker and right winger, his left-sidedness has to come as an added kick to Iwobi’s arse, and needless to say, he kind of needs that kick. He hasn’t caught on like we’d have wanted him to, and if Martinelli does impress enough to get right in the first team, I have to believe that Iwobi will be the guy who misses out on a lot of opportunities that were once his—the midweek competitions, the substitute appearances.

Maybe Gabriel Martinelli doesn’t nip at his heels until 2020, it’s still going to happen at some point in the near future, especially if Iwobi can’t sort himself out.

On to No. 2.

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

2. Bukayo Saka

Competition is a healthy thing. It’s a resource to get the most out of your players for the betterment of the team, as well as those players that are competing. Those who make the grade do so because they are the superior talents and those that don’t… just don’t.

Given that Saka is the only natural left-sided winger in the youth set-up who is actually threatening for a first team spot, Martinelli just became his closest competitor. Both Reiss Nelson and Xavier Amaechi are right-sided, so they won’t feel it as much, but 17-year-old Saka will.

Saka broke through into the first team picture last season with some tremendous mid-week appearances, one of which saw him complete eight dribbles, which was simply unheard of on this club that possesses no natural dribblers.

He was a major bright spot and a relative newcomer and one of the most exciting things about him is the fact that he naturally plays on the left-side.

Gabriel Martinelli’s involvement will challenge that going forward, as we now have two actual left-sided players, and that means that both of them are going to have to step up their game to be the preferred young option out there, at a position of dire need.

Finally, the player most effected by Martinelli’s arrival at No. 1

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

1. Eddie Nketiah

Eddie Nketiah just got done talking about how he wants to be a part of the Arsenal first team next year. He believes it’s his time and he’s not that interested in a loan move. It’s impossible not to like that mind set, but his task just got more difficult with the arrival of Martinelli.

While Nketiah was already blocked by Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, what Unai Emery had been doing was letting Nketiah play on the wings, or as an outside striker in midweek competitions.

Nketiah might well have been looking for many more opportunities there, but with Nelson back on the right side and Gabriel Matinelli potentially factoring in on the left, there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen, and Nketiah is going to have to step up his culinary game to keep his head above water.

Even more important is the limitation of bench spots. If Nketiah wants to feature off the bench in the first-team set-up, he is going to have to earn that seat, and with all the other youth options coming up the ranks and with, as of now, no one being sold, those seats are going to be at a premium.

If Martinelli sticks in the first team, Nketiah will have an incredibly difficult time keeping himself relevant in the first team picture.

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