Arsenal boss Arteta backed to make bold Aubameyang decision because of Martinelli

Arsenal: Arteta urges Gunners to build on Chelsea win

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta must not bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back into his starting XI yet, claims Gunners fan and former Tottenham striker Darren Bent. Aubameyang has not played for Arsenal since the 1-1 draw with Southampton on December 16. The captain missed two matches due to a calf injury and was an unused substitute in the 3-1 win over Chelsea on Boxing Day.

Gabriel Martinelli made his first Premier League start since February 2 in the match at the Emirates after recovering from a knee injury.

The young Brazilian impressed alongside fellow youngsters Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

Alexandre Lacazette was the senior figure of the attacking quartet and Bent believes Arteta must stick with that setup for the immediate future.

“I wouldn’t bring Aubameyang back. I wouldn’t bring any of them back,” Bent said on talkSPORT.

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“I think that team did well against a good Chelsea team and there seems to be a bit of a feel-good factor around bringing some of the kids on.

“To get fans on side there’s nothing better than bringing some of your own into the first-team and they do well.

“If Aubameyang is fit for this next game and you take these young players straight back out again, confidence wise that might kill them a little bit.

“So I would stick with the youngsters and the more experienced guys might have to bide their time. For me, Saka is absolutely brilliant.

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“I like Martinelli, he’s a big player and we’ve missed him this season, his energy, his pace, he can finish and score goals – he’s been a big miss.

“But Saka has been absolutely brilliant. Even in the tough times Arsenal have had this season, he has been very very good.

“And Smith Rowe is a very clever footballer, he’s got that bit of creativity we’ve been crying out for.”

Arsenal remain 15th in the table ahead of Tuesday’s visit to West Brom.

And Arteta says the win over Chelsea was the blueprint for how he wants his team to play.

“I saw a lot of things that I really liked from the start [against Chelsea],” the Spaniard said.

“One of them is the courage that we have to play and the energy that we showed and how aggressive we were with the ball and the energy that the team was transmitting in a football match.

“We were very direct, we were playing forward and we were really attacking.

“There was a lot of movement, the spaces were always occupied and we were a threat in behind. There were a lot of things.

“But it depends on the players, it depends on the opponents but on Saturday it was close to a lot of things that we want, for sure.”

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