Having dropped four points in two games from leading positions, Arsenal will be looking right over the shoulders. Title rivals Manchester City are lurking and ready to pounce. Aside from the title race, it has been quite the season for some of Arsenal’s young starlets. We caught up with former Liverpool legend John Barnes to discuss Arsenal’s young starlets such as Gabriel Martinelli who has lit the Premier League season ablaze so far.
Martinelli still has a lot to learn claims Barnes
The season has been a remarkable one for Arsenal’s forward Gabriel Martinelli, who has netted 14 goals and provided four assists in the league. Martinelli’s skill, tenacity, and perseverance have enabled him to make the left side forward position his own. This season is undoubtedly Martinelli’s best yet in his professional career, culminating in a spot in Brazil’s World Cup squad. Barnes expresses his desire for Martinelli to exhibit a greater level of consistency while making progress in his game.
“Players can always improve and Gabriel is still a young player. He can improve by being consistent every week and sometimes he dribbles too much.”
“He still has a lot to learn, especially defensively, and he can also improve in terms of releasing the ball quicker sometimes.”
“But for me he has been Arsenal’s most impressive forward this season and he is always playing well with a great attitude.”
“But of course, he is also benefiting from Arsenal being consistent this season, which helps him a lot.”
Saka and Martinelli breakout stars
Several players in the league have had outstanding seasons and could be potential candidates for the breakout star of the season award. Kaoru Mitoma has been a delightful surprise for Brighton, excelling under the tutelage of Roberto De Zebri. Meanwhile, Alejandro Garnacho has impressed many during his inaugural professional season in the Premier League with Manchester United. Nevertheless, according to Barnes, Bukayo Saka and Martinelli have been his personal breakout stars of the season thus far.
“Mitoma has obviously impressed me a lot. Brighton does very well when it comes to integrating players, like MacAllister, Caicedo, Ferguson and so on.”
“Bukayo Saka has been very good and like Martinelli, he is a young player that performed quite inconsistently last season.”
“Saka and Martinelli have been the breakout players for me this season.
Alongside Martinelli, Ramsdale’s consistency key to Arsenal title surge
Last summer saw Arsenal complete the signing of Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United for a starting fee of £24 million. The transfer appeared to generate mixed feelings, with some uncertain if Ramsdale had displayed enough to merit playing for a club of Arsenal’s calibre. Nevertheless, the move has turned out to be a stroke of genius for the Gunners. Ramsdale has played a crucial role in Arsenal’s ascension to the forefront this season, with his unwavering performances impressing Barnes as he strives to secure his inaugural Premier League title.
“For goalkeepers it is a bit different. They are actually having the chance to shine when the team is not playing well because then he is called a lot more upon.”
“That was what Ramsdale was doing last year and that he did against Liverpool. I think he was great last season as well but the amount of chances they gave away and the goals he conceded wasn’t in his favour.”
“I think he has done great again this season but Arsenal are not giving away as many chances, which is why he might have gone under the radar.”
“He has been very consistent for a long period of time.”