Arsenal have been dealt a major injury blow in the first half of their clash against Everton at Goodison Park. Gabriel Martinelli has been forced off with what appears to be a hamstring issue.
The 22-year-old winger was seen clutching the back on his right thigh just moments after he thought he had broken the deadlock in Merseyside. Martinelli put the Gunners ahead before the half-hour mark but, following a review by VAR, he was adjudged to have been offside.
The goal was ruled out and, just seconds later, the Brazil international was replaced by Leandro Trossard. Martinelli headed straight for the tunnel – for now, the severity of the issue remains to be seen but he has since returned to the dugout.
While Mikel Arteta has a wealth of options in his armoury, the Brazilian's knock comes as a huge blow for the Gunners. Arsenal have a number of big games on the horizon, with their first Champions League group stage game in seven years and the north London derby over the next week.
Martinelli has done well to avoid injury in the last couple of years, missing just five games for Arsenal since he returned from a major knee problem in December 2020. In June 2020, the youngster sustained cartilage damage in his left knee during training at London Colney.
When quizzed on Martinelli's knock at the time, Arteta said: «We had some really bad news against yesterday [Monday]. In training in the last action [Martinelli] got hit by another player. He’s damaged his knee, the doctors are assessing the extent of the injury but it’s not looking good at all.»
Then, when pushed for a return date, the Spaniard replied: «We don’t know, but he’s looking at months. If two players bang each other, or if what happens with Pablo [Mari] on his own and aRead on football.london