When Arsenal sold Alexis Sanchez to Man U, we lost that player who was a difference maker. That could create something for himself out of nothing.
In Gabriel Martinelli we have a player that reminds me a lot of the Chilean.
Martinelli is a high work rate player whose first thought is always about going forward. How can he beat a man, how can he score a goal.
Like Sanchez he scores all sorts of goals. Worldies a from the edge of the area. On his toes to grab a tap in. Lofting it over a keeper when clean through, or bending it round him.
They both have that burst of pace and a trick to beat a man. The ability to be surrounded by two or 3 players but somehow find a way out of trouble with the ball at their feet.
His game does have its flaws which are also eerily similar to Sanchez.
Sanchez was a poor passer. You would not really want him involved in slow and patient build up. He would take 2 or 3 touches when one is needed.
Martinelli is the same.
He is often bottom of pass completion in the team. You want him coming in on the left to finish the build up. Not involved in it.
With 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games, Martinelli has finally returned to that form that made him one of the most exciting teenagers on the planet.
Still just 20, the competition on the left between him and Emile Smith Rowe will only push both further.
In Smith Rowe we have someone that reminds me of Robert Pires.
Martinelli is beginning to look like a Sanchez regen.