Gabriel Martinelli set for spell on sidelines with season over due to injury

Gabriel Martinelli’s injury will see him miss Arsenal’s remaining two Premier League fixtures, according to reports. The winger was the victim of a brutal tackle by Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo during the Gunners’ 3-0 defeat by the Seagulls on Sunday. 

An assessment on the injury has shown that Martinelli suffered an ankle problem. However, it is not believed to be serious and he could return to full fitness in a few weeks. 

Caicedo lunged into a challenge on Martinelli midway through the first-half of Arsenal’s game against Brighton, in apparent retribution for a clash between the Brazilian and Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma just minutes earlier. Martinelli appeared to catch the Japan international’s face with his elbow as they both jumped for a high ball.

The 21-year-old had to be replaced following Caicedo’s tackle and was later seen in a protective boot. Boss Mikel Arteta admitted the youngster was finding it ‘uncomfortable’ to walk freely.

According to The Athletic, Martinelli is now set to miss Arsenal’s final two games of the season in a major blow to Arteta. The North Londoners travel to Nottingham Forest on Saturday before hosting Wolves on May 28, although their chances of winning a shock Premier League title were all but ended by that loss against Brighton. 

Martinelli’s injury is not believed to be serious but with just two games left in Arsenal’s campaign, he will not return to make an appearance. He will, though, be fit for the return to pre-season in early July. 

The winger had been key to Arsenal’s surprise title push throughout the campaign, playing in each of Arsenal’s 36 Premier League games and scoring 15 goals. There were also five assists along the way for a player who has shone under Arteta. 

Martinelli’s name is added to a growing injury list at the Emirates Stadium. Absences have played a role in the Gunners’ slump over the last few months, curtailing their chances of winning the Premier League for the first time since 2004. 

William Saliba, who made a monumental impact early in his breakthrough campaign, has not played since suffering a back injury against Sporting Lisbon in March. The defender is also expected to miss the remainder of the season. 

Express Sport reported last week that left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko could return for Arsenal’s final two games. The Ukrainian had initially been set to miss the rest of the campaign with a calf problem, but has since returned to training after failing a fitness test ahead of Brighton.

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