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Mikel Arteta admits Gabriel Martinelli remains a doubt for Tottenham clash

Mikel Arteta admits Gabriel Martinelli remains a doubt for Tottenham clash

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has offered an update on Gabriel Martinelli’s fitness ahead of this weekend’s derby encounter against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Brazilian winger limped off the pitch in the first half of their narrow 1-0 triumph over Everton last weekend with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Leandro Trossard, who netted the match-winning goal.

Arteta has admitted he is unsure if the attacker will be fit to play a part against Tottenham but ruled out any involvement for Thomas Partey, who remains confined to the treatment room.

“With Gabi [Martinelli], we are still assessing him, so let’s see if he can make the game or not,” Arteta told reporters in his pre-match press conference. “Thomas [Parety] for sure is out,”

“The rest we hope are available – yes we still have two training sessions, but there were no big issues in midweek.”

Arteta has made the headlines with his squad selection in recent weeks, especially in the defensive department, with David Raya selected ahead of Aaron Ramsdale in consecutive fixtures.

Raya has repaid the manager’s faith, keeping clean sheets in each of his appearances, but Arteta is determined to hand each player an opportunity to stake their claim for a starting berth as the season progresses.

“When you have to announce the line-up, it’s one of the hardest things because players feel happy and valued when they play,” Arteta added.

“When they don’t, it’s very difficult. You want them to feel loved and trusted, and the way to do that is to play them, but everybody understands it’s a team sport.

“It’s always 11 players starting, but we have seen as well how important the finishers are, and how important everybody is going to be in the season, and not look back on the team who have played the first six or seven games of the season.”

Sunday’s fixture pits two of the four unbeaten teams in the Premier League against each other, and the Gunners will be hoping to maintain their fine start to the season at the expense of their local rivals.

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