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Martinelli plays 45 minutes for the Arsenal U21s as he steps up his return to full fitness

Gabriel Martinelli played 45 minutes for the Arsenal Under-21 side in their 3-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon in the Papa John’s EFL Trophy, according to Football.london.

The Brazilian attacker suffered a knee injury in training back in June and has been sidelined ever since. The fact that he was involved will come as a huge boost to manager Mikel Arteta as the Gunners are in dire need of the 19 year old. Last season, Martinelli became the first teenager since Nicolas Anelka to score ten goals for the North London side in a single season. 

Tim Akinola was sent off for the Gunners with less than ten minutes left to play against Wimbledon after picking up a second yellow card. Saliba was given his marching orders soon after that which saw the North London side finish the game with nine men. 

Martinelli was not expected to play for the club until the end of the month but managed to start ahead of schedule. He looked tired by the end of the first half as is to be expected considering he was making his first appearance for the club in almost six months. He was replaced by Kido Taylor-Hart at the start of the second half.

Gooners will be looking forward to seeing the Brazilian back in the first team but will have to be patient as he is recovering from a serious injury.

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