Gabriel Martinelli's confirmed absence for tonight's UEFA Champions League Group B opener against PSV Eindhoven looks set to open the door for at least one Arsenal academy prospect.
The Brazil international limped out of the Gunners' 1-0 win over Everton at the weekend with a suspected hamstring injury and having not been spotted by football.london during the open training session at London Colney, Mikel Arteta subsequently revealed that the 22-year-old is unavailable for selection against the Eredivisie outfit.
«He felt something in his hamstring, we need to do some further tests to assess if there is any big damage or not,» the Spaniard told reporters during the pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon. «He will be out tomorrow [Wednesday] that's for sure.»
Interestingly, though, the Arsenal manager hasn't yet ruled Martinelli out of Sunday's North London Derby meeting with Tottenham Hotspur, stating there are still some steps to take before determining the winger's availability. «It’s a possibility, we need to do more tests to see what happens,» he added.
So, who replaces Martinelli in the starting line-up? Well, if Sunday's win over Everton is an indicator then Leandro Trossard — the matchwinner at Goodison Park — will be promoted from the substitute's bench. However, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe can provide Arteta with a team selection headache.
Having said that, the Gunners boss must shuffle the pack but with regard to the matchday squad too. Permitted to select 23 players as per UEFA ruling, that means three more than usual. Although, as it's common in European ties for a trio of goalkeepers to be selected, one of those spots will go to either James Hillson or Karl Hein as Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya areRead on football.london