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Gabriel Martinelli was forced to pull out of Arsenal’s FA Cup third round tie against Newcastle after he sustained an injury in the warm-up.
The Brazilian forward had started the three matches prior to last Saturday’s 4-0 win over West Brom with Mikel Arteta opting to rest the 19-year-old who had only just returned following a nine-month absence.
Martinelli was restored to the starting line-up on Saturday but took no part in the action after he appeared to sustain an ankle injury ahead of kick-off.
Martinelli injuring himself in the warm up tonight 😞
I hope it’s nothing major, he was walking after pic.twitter.com/aEVOcNnpNO
— Link Up Arsenal (@LinkUpArsenal) January 9, 2021
With only Nicolas Pepe in close proximity, Martinelli sprinted to retrieve the ball and fell to the floor clutching his right ankle.
The youngster initially appeared to be in extreme pain but was able to return to the dressing room without the aid of a stretcher.
The extent of the injury is yet to be confirmed but Arteta opted not to take any risks with one of the men chiefly responsible for Arsenal’s return to form in recent weeks.
Martinelli’s place in the starting line was taken by Reiss Nelson, who scored Arsenal’s winning goal against Leeds United at this stage of the competition last season.
Arsenal face Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Thursday evening before they meet Newcastle again a week on Monday.
Reacting to Martinelli’s setback Ian Wright, working for the BBC, said: ‘It’s a big blow, its a massive blow to him its a big blow to Mikel as well because he gives that energy that’s coincided with Arsenal’s form him and Emile Smith Rowe.
‘So to see him go down like that was really quite worrying. Hopefully Gabriel will be fine but its a big opportunity for Reiss nelson for him to stake a claim now.’