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Arsenal star ruled out for two to three weeks

Arsenal will miss an important player against FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League second leg tie on Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium

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Arsenal Champions League
Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenat forward Gabriel Martinelli will be absent from the crucial Champions League second leg clash against FC Porto on Tuesday after being unable to recover from a foot injury sustained during the 5-0 victory over Sheffield United last weekend. 

The 22-year-old forward had to be assisted off the field by Arsenal medical staff physios after struggling to walk independently following a challenge in the 64th minute.

Martinelli’s absence from Monday’s training session raises concerns about his availability for the last-16 tie, where Arsenal aims to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit. Despite Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expressing optimism about Martinelli’s participation in the weekend match against Brentford, the Brazilian was ultimately not in the lineup and was later spotted on crutches at the Emirates Stadium.

Arteta commented on the situation before the Brentford game, stating, “We had Martinelli and Bukayo (Saka) with little issues. We’re pretty positive that hopefully they can be part of that. But we’ll have to see how they feel.” Unfortunately, Martinelli’s recovery progress has not been sufficient for him to feature in the upcoming clash against Porto.

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Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli is a major doubt ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against FC Porto (Image credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal will face FC Porto at the Emirates Stadium in the crucial Champions League last-16 second leg, and the absence of Martinelli will pose an additional challenge for Arteta’s side, already trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Portugal last month.

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Despite his injury setback, Martinelli was named in Brazil’s squad for their friendlies against England and Spain later this month by head coach Dorival Junior. The young forward has been a big contributor to Arsenal’s campaign this season, registering eight goals and five assists in 32 appearances.

Arteta is due to face the media on Monday when he’ll no doubt be pressed on what’s going on both fronts. His side needs to recover from a one-goal deficit if the Gunners are to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

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