Analysing Gabriel Martinelli’s improvement in the 2022/23 season


It has been a good few weeks for Gabriel Martinelli, as he has consolidated his starting role in the Arsenal team. Following January and the signing of Leandro Trossard, there were calls for the Brazilian to come out of the team, as he looked fatigued. He wasn’t having the same impact on matches around the turn of the year and it looked like the left wing was the weak part of the Gunners’ attack.

The return of Gabriel Jesus could have been a worrying development for Martinelli’s security in the first team, but he has found his scoring boots again. The Brazilian international is arguably the most in-form player in the team now and his position is a lot more secure. After their Europa League exit, there is no reason for rotation and that should mean Martinelli starts most of the remaining matches.

During the last eight matches across all competitions, Martinelli has scored six times. It is an impressive record and many of those have come at important times for the Gunners. The first of those strikes came as a substitute against Aston Villa. This was the only time he was brought out of the first team and his record since then suggests that it was an excellent decision from Mikel Arteta. Perhaps, the Brazilian was complacent and the decision to drop him from the starting eleven has led to a sharp increase in form.

A player like Martinelli isn’t going to struggle for too long, but the timing of his return to form does suggest that Arteta has played a vital role. Following the breakdown of the move for Mykhailo Mudryk, Arsenal chose to move for Leandro Trossard and that decision now looks to be a masterstroke. The Belgian has been performing well since his move to the Emirates Stadium, but the bigger impact has been the return to form of Martinelli. Without the pressure of another very good attacker, the Brazilian may not have shown the same improvement.

This season will be reflected on as a breakout season for Martinelli. Although he has played a prominent role in the squad for a couple of seasons, this is the campaign where he is making the step forward with consistency. The 21-year-old has scored 13 Premier League goals, which means he is the club’s top scorer.

Arsenal do share the goals across their forward line with no reliance on any one individual. However, it is impressive that Martinelli is currently the team’s top scorer.

Interestingly, he is averaging 2.4 shots per game, which is less than Gabriel Jesus (3.3), Martin Odegaard (2.8) and Bukayo Saka (2.5). This suggests that Martinelli is more clinical.

Martinelli’s total expected goals (xG) for the Premier League season is 7.9, which he is overperforming. This suggests that there may be some reversion to the mean in the coming months, with his recent goal-scoring form unlikely to be sustainable.

One theme of Martinelli’s season has been that his goals have come in streaks. He could be a player that relies on confidence in the final third. Therefore, Arteta will be concerned that there could be a draught ahead for the attacker. If that does happen, there are other options available with Trossard signing and Jesus coming back from injury.

Regardless of how the season finishes for Arsenal, this has been a fantastic campaign for Martinelli. At the age of 21, there is room for further development and he will want to become more consistent across a single campaign. If he manages to maintain his clinical edge over the course of a season, he could become one of the best players in European football. The future is bright for Arsenal and their 21-year-old attacker.

Stats taken from fbref (powered by Opta)  


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here