Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta has defended Gabriel Martinelli, insisting that the attacker is not struggling with confidence.

According to Arteta, the Brazilian is a ‘massive threat’ despite his lack of goals and assists for the Gunners this season.

Martinelli impressed in the Premier League last season for Arsenal, scoring 15 goals and providing five assists across 36 games.

But he has failed to replicate that form so far this season.

Martinelli has scored just twice and provided two assists in 16 games for Mikel Arteta’s side.

“It is difficult [to explain],” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League tie with West Ham United on Thursday.

“Sometimes it is decision-making, sometimes it is hitting the post or missing a chance.

“He is really trying. He is a massive threat for us. Everything that he generates with and without the ball, the pressure he puts on the backline, he is a key player for us and things will happen [for him] again.

“Confidence is not a problem for Martinelli. Sometimes he needs to put the break down or lift his head up and make that decision for everybody.”

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