Gabriel Martinelli scored his first goal of the season, and his first since that stormer against Chelsea in the last campaign, during the 3-0 win over Sheffield United tonight.
The young Brazilian was sharp from the first whistle, and repaid the manager’s decision to start him with a goal at just the right moment.
Speaking afterwards, Arteta was asked if he was pleased with the contribution following earlier calls for patience, and said, “Yes I am. I’m asking you to be patient because we have a lot of players at 19 and 20 years old.
“When you compare that with a lot of Premier League clubs at the top end it’s not common. Gabi’s having the right path, the right development, he’s got an incredible attitude and talent and has got all the future in front of him.
“What we have to do is to manage that, try to give him the right amount of minutes, the right games for him to develop to continue to get better.”
Arsenal fans have been calling for his inclusion in recent weeks, but in particular after the disappointing 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague on Thursday, but Arteta insisted that had no bearing on his decision to start Martinelli at Bramall Lane.
“I’m not aware because I don’t want to read that because I don’t want anything affecting me,” he said.
“What is affecting me is how I see him every day, how he is, all the staff and what our opinion is on how we want him to develop.
“I’m sure that there is always debate, when I play somebody, somebody else should play.
“That’s going to happen most of the time when you don’t win.”