By Noel Whelan

13th Oct, 2021 | 6:45am

Martinelli blasted amid Arsenal training ground verdict - pundit

Noel Whelan has urged Arsenal starlet Gabriel Martinelli to “work harder” to secure a first-team berth at the club.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 21-year-old will have to “show the right attitude in training” following his limited action this term.

Martinelli has been handed a further blow over this month’s international break, with Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all scoring for their national teams.

Martinelli started Arsenal’s opening two league games of the season but has failed to feature in the subsequent five matches.

The prospective departure of Alexandre Lacazette next year could see Martinelli rise up the pecking order at the Emirates.

However, The Sun reported on October 6th that the Gunners will look to replace Lacazette with Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins. 

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Whelan insisted Martinelli has to show “hard work and desire” to recapture the form which left Arsenal fans raving about his potential.

“He’s got to show the right attitude in training,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“There has to be hard work and desire – he has to show that hunger to get in ahead of Lacazette.

“If Lacazette isn’t staying at the club, he needs to work harder and start pushing to really claim that spot for himself.

“You can see what Arsenal are doing, they’re trying to build towards more of a British spine.

“Now is the time where he needs to be shining through and nailing down a starting spot. But you’ve got to work hard.

“There are international-quality players in front of him, but Martinelli has got to push them hard.

“If you look at Aubameyang, Saka, and Smith Rowe – they’re all doing it, so he might have to bide his time.”

In other news, pundit urges Arsenal to sign striker loved by Jamie Carragher.