Gabriel Martinelli targeting Champions League spot for Arsenal as he closes in on recovery from knee injury

Arsenal’s Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli has been forced to watch on from the sidelines as his team-mates improve under Mikel Arteta, but offered a positive update on his injury on Monday.

The teenager made a big impression in his opening months with the Gunners, but knee surgery left him absent for the closing stages of 2019/20, including the run to win the FA Cup final.

He is expected to return late in the calendar year of 2020, but told Arsenal’s club website that he is progressing well and his knee much-improved as he closes in on a return to training.

“I’m feeling very well, I’m regaining confidence and I can feel my knee is better,” he said.

“After an injury like this you are kind of scared to force the knee again but the past couple of weeks it has been fine and soon I can start training with the ball.”

On the form of his team-mates, Martinelli is impressed by the side’s development under Arteta and feels they can challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

“I think we have an excellent squad and along with Mikel’s forward thinking and winning mentality we can carry on doing well.

“We are playing well and training well, everyone wants to win and we are all giving everything.

“I believe this season is very promising. We won trophies last season and I believe we can win this season again and also qualify for the Champions League.”

Arsenal finished eighth last season, but have won three of their four league matches so far in 2020/21.

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