Mikel Arteta was quick to praise Gabriel Martinelli for his instant impact against Newcastle after the Brazilian netted moments after replacing Bukayo Saka in the second half.
The 20-year-old doubled the Gunners with just his second touch, caressing a volley over Magpies’ keeper Martin Dubravka after latching onto a clipped through ball by Takehiro Tomiyasi.
Having had limited game time this season, Martinelli clearly enjoyed his chance to shine and celebrated the strike, his first at the Emirates in nearly two years, with real gusto.
“It is a big moment for him,” said Arteta in his post-game press conference.
“I’m especially happy for him because how he behaves. Some players are respectful when you make some decisions, and some players are very respectful, like he is.
“He’s patient, but at the same time he’s really pushing and challenging and it makes every decision that you make even harder because he deserve more and I’m really pleased because he really helped the team to get the points today.”
Despite only playing 365 minutes this season, Martinelli reiterated that he’s very happy at the Emirates and eager to play his part whenever called upon.
“Yeah, I need to be patient as I always say,” he told Arsenal.com. “If I play 10 or 20 minutes, I have to play well and be ready to play.
“I love the fans, I’m so happy to be here, playing for this club and I’m so happy for the victory.
“We knew that the game was going to be hard, but we came prepared to the game and I’m so happy.”