‘He never gives up’, Rob Holding raves about emerging Arsenal star ahead of Vitoria clash

Arsenal defender Rob Holding has made glowing remarks about the progress of Gabriel Martinelli ahead of the club’s Europa League group stage clash against Vitoria on Thursday.

Martinelli joined the Gunners as a relatively unknown from Ituano during the summer but he has settled perfectly within the first-team squad by scoring a brace in each of his two starts for the club.

The youngster was only a second-half substitute during the disappointing 1-0 league defeat at Sheffield United on Monday night but he is widely expected to command a starting role in the upcoming European game.

Ahead of that game, Holding was asked about the progress of Martinez and he responded positively while stating that the 18-year-old remains a nightmare for central defenders with his never-give-up attitude.

“He’s come in and settled really well. In training every day, he works hard. He puts you under pressure constantly and never stops running, which as a centre half is a nightmare. You want a striker that will sort of give up on you, but he never gives up. His finishing has been unbelievable, even with his head,” he was quoted as saying on Arsenal.com.

Martinelli has started upfront for the Gunners in his two starts in the League Cup and Europa League and he has made it count by contributing four goals and an assist.

However, he may slot into his natural left-wing position on Thursday night with Alexandre Lacazette likely to lead the line following his injury comeback against Sheffield off the bench.

Elsewhere, Holding is expected to start at the heart of the defence and he will most likely be partnered by Shkodran Mustafi, who has been exclusively used in the Cup competitions.

Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney, Lucas Torreira should be among the other starters after playing no part during the Monday night loss against Chris Wilder’s men.

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