Mikel Arteta says he’s absolutely gutted for Gabriel Martinelli who had to be pulled from Arsenal’s starting lineup to face Newcastle after suffering an ankle injury in the warm-up.
The 19-year-old, who has only recently returned from a long-term knee injury, appeared to twist his ankle and was left in agony on the turf.
The boss didn’t see the incident in person but after the 2-0 win, secured after extra time thanks to goals by Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he revealed how he learnt of the news.
“I am gutted,” said Arteta. “I was in my office before the game and one of the coaches came in and said that Gabi hurt himself, that he twisted his ankle.
“I went to the medical room and he was in tears. He was in a lot of pain and we are going to have to see how he is – but he didn’t look good.
“He was in pain, so I imagine we are not going to have good news with him.”
He added: “We really want to know what is going on. He is a character that wants to play the next game, that he doesn’t care, that he can handle pain.
“I don’t know. Hopefully, there is nothing too serious, but to start with it didn’t look too good.”
“I was about to receive the ball and felt a little pain on my knee,” he recalled. “Not enough for me to stop practising, but, while we were on the finishing session, I told them that I was in pain. They told me to rest and, if I felt the pain the next day, to let them know.
“When I woke up, I felt it but I was able to walk. I thought it was nothing at first, but it was a pain I’d never felt before. I went to the club for the examinations and they said it was not good and I would need surgery. It broke me. I cried a lot.”
Here’s hoping this latest setback is nowhere near as bad. We wish you a swift recovery, Gabi.