Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli has been asked to perform a different role for Brazil upon reporting for international duty, which could also be of benefit to the Gunners when he returns.
When fit, Martinelli has become an automatic choice on the left wing in recent years. But training footage from Brazil’s camp has shown the 22-year-old lining up as a striker in a practice match.
Martinelli has played sparingly as a 'number nine' for Arsenal, notably in a Premier League win over Everton in March when he scored twice. It was more something that Unai Emery asked him to do in the player's very early days at the club when he was only recently 18 – but there was clear potential when he netted three times in Europa League wins over Standard Liege and Vitoria and four in just two Carabao Cup ties against Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.
For all the polishing Mikel Arteta and Edu have done, Arsenal continue to lack a real goalscorer up front – that is despite being able to spread the goals around as they managed last season.
Gabriel Jesus is currently ruled out with a hamstring injury and facing another restricted season following knee trouble last year, while Eddie Nketiah's hat-trick against a hapless Sheffield United last month marked his only goals in any comPetition since August. Leandro Trossard took the position against both Burnley and Sevilla prior to the international break and scored once in each Game.
Trossard has insisted he doesn't have a preferred position, although his attitude towards making sure he gets into the box is certainly conducive to scoring goals.
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"I don't really mind playing all of those positions up top, to be fair. If it’s left winger, as a false nine, even as an attacking midfielder, I don’t really have a straight answer for that," the Belgian told Arsenal's in-house Breakdown Special.
If Martinelli can be utilised as a striker, it just presents another option, at least in the short-term.
As January nears, 90min has previously reported that the Gunners hold an interest in Brentford striker Ivan Toney. The 27-year-old is currently banned over breaching betting rules but will soon return to action and has informed Brentford he would like to move on. In that respect, Arsenal have already held talks with Toney’s camp, although so too have Chelsea.
The Bees are also prepared to demand more than £80m for their star player, which has shocked him given that he is about to enter the final 18 months of his contract.
19-year-old Karim Konate is another striker the Gunners are watching, having had a scouting presence at a Red Bull Salzburg game earlier this month – he scored twice in a 2-0 win.
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