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Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli and defender Gabriel Magalhaes are set to be overlooked by Brazil manager Tite for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, according to reports. Both players have been in exceptional form for the Gunners so far this season and would have been hoping for a spot on the plane as a welcome reward for their hard work at club level in recent months.
Martinelli has already scored five goals in all competitions for Arsenal since the beginning of the campaign and is considered as a hugely important cog in the machine after nailing down a regular starting role on the left flank. It seems as though he has not done enough to earn a place in the Brazil squad for the World Cup, though, with journalist Bruno Andrade claiming that neither Martinelli nor Gabriel will be included in the final 26-man group.
The Arsenal duo were not named in an apparent leak of the Brazil squad, which is set to be officially confirmed at some point before the end of this week. It will come as a major blow to both players if they end up missing the cut after excelling at club level for the Gunners over the last few weeks, with the likes of Tottenham winger Richarlison and Juventus centre-back Gleison Bremer on the list for Brazil ahead of them.
Gabriel Jesus will reportedly be Arsenal’s only representative for the Selecao in Qatar, with the 25-year-old set to be one of many Premier League stars in the squad that will be hoping to win a record-breaking sixth World Cup this year. Antony, Bruno Guimaraes, Lucas Paqueta, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino are just some of the other English-based players expected to be on the plane, while Alisson Becker and Ederson will reprise their usual goalkeeping roles in the side when the tournament gets underway.
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It remains to be seen whether Martinelli and Gabriel will be able to prove Tite wrong in spite of their absence from Brazil’s squad by continuing to impress for Arsenal between now and the end of the campaign. They will both be needed to make vital contributions in attack and defence in order for the Gunners to maintain their surprise Premier League title charge, which they managed to firm up with a hard-fought victory over Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
The north Londoners have announced plans for a warm-weather training camp in Dubai to take place during the World Cup, with the players not involved at the tournament set to take part. Arsenal will then face Lyon and AC Milan in a round-robin style competition before playing another friendly prior to the return of Premier League football on Boxing Day.
Mikel Arteta recently insisted that it would be a difficult challenge to strike the right balance with his remaining squad during the World Cup break, telling BT Sport: “The plan is not finished. We’re planning to win Wednesday and Sunday, then we will have time to finalise what we’re going to do.
“We have some ideas, how we can help our players. For every manager and every club, it’s going to be a challenge because it’s unprecedented.”
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