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Martin Keown has shared his concerns over Mikel Arteta’s handling of Gabriel Martinelli and believes Arsenal boss “doesn’t like” the Brazilian star.
Martinelli has found his playing time limited at the Emirates Stadium, since returning to the squad from a long-term injury.
During the club’s Europe League 2 – 1 defeat to Villarreal, the 19-year-old was given less than 30 minutes to make an impact.
“I’ve been concerned as to why that player is not playing,” Keown told BT Sport.
When being asked why he believes Martinelli is not being selected, Keown replied: “Because the manager doesn’t like him.
“It’s as simple as that.
“I’m not there everyday, I’m not on the training ground.
“I thought it was very interesting Odegaard had gone internationally and said ‘in training this is the best young player I’ve ever seen’. And he’s from Real Madrid.
“So now it’s time to let him fly. Let’s look at the positives. Let’s support him.
“When he came into the team I thought he did a great job. Not only was he making runs down the middle but he was coming back. He was like a Duracell battery.
“Keep him in the team. Play him. You’ve seen what you’ve done with Smith Rowe and Saka. Support the young players, that’s where the energy is coming.”