Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli has given Mikel Arteta a significant injury boost by returning to first team training ahead of schedule.
The Brazilian has been out for five months with a knee injury and the Gunners had not expected the talented youngster to return to action until the New Year.
However, the 19-year-old was able to participate in a session with the first team today ahead of Arsenals’ Europa League tie against Dundalk.
Though Martinelli will likely need two or three weeks of training before he can consider an appearance, the teenager’s return is a much needed boost for a goal-shy Arsenal side.
The Gunners have scored just eight times in their first six Premier League fixtures this term, which is the joint fewest the club have managed since the competition’s inception in 1992.
Martinelli made a blistering start to his Arsenal career last season and was one of the few positives of a difficult campaign, scoring ten goals in 26 appearances for the club.
The forward hinted last week that he was ready to step-up his recovery after a frustrating spell on the sidelines. ‘I feel very well,’ he told Arsenal’s official website.
‘I’m regaining confidence and I can feel my knee is better. ‘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. ‘Soon I can start training with the ball.’