Gabriel Martinelli was called up to the senior Brazil national team leaving Alexandre Lacazette as the sole Arsenal starter without international status
International football can be a club football fan’s nightmare. The threat of having to wait an additional weekend to see Arsenal play can be a painful time.
Although international football has improved, the main gripe with the mid-season fixtures is the threat of injuries to players that could have a hugely damaging effect on a club’s ambitions for the season. Arsenal will be sitting with fingers crossed that none of their stars face any affliction between now and their return when they head overseas following next weekend’s round of fixtures.
Despite this fear, internationals can provide a great experience to players and help further their development. Even at a very young age, players like Karl Hein and Omar Rekik are playing at a senior international level for Estonia and Tunisia respectively.
Gabriel Martinelli joined the group of Gunners internationals when he received his first call-up to the full senior Brazilian national side yesterday alongside Real Madrid stars Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior.
Of the team that started in the 3-2 win over Watford last weekend, only Martinelli had not made his senior international debut outside of the Japan Olympics last year.
Mikel Arteta brought in four full internationals in the summer and with Albert Sambi Lokonga having made his Belgium bow since, that number has now become five.
In the regular Arsenal lineup, Alexandre Lacazette remains the only starting member who is now not playing for their international side. The Frenchman has caps for his country but the rise and consistency of players like Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Wissam Ben Yedder and Olivier Giroud has blocked his path
Cedric Soares has also not played for Portugal for some time, but Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu would typically play in the right-back role.
football.london understands that Arsenal do wish to pursue two forwards in the summer among other positions and you would imagine Arteta will be looking for further international experience to acquire. Arteta considers ‘experience’ a crucial part of the profile of players regardless of their age.
“He has to have a certain age, a certain level of experience, and he has to be able to come here and play under the pressure of being at Arsenal,” Arteta said in an interview with Sky Sports.
Martin Odegaard is a great example despite still being in the formative stages of his career. He has plenty of senior experience and is already the captain of Norway.
The player who replaces Lacazette as Arsenal’s leading striker will be considered the long-term successor and spearhead of the team. Names such as Patrik Schick, Jonathan David and Joao Felix all meet the criteria of having plenty of international caps to their name while being at an age where they can continue to improve.
Arteta and technical director Edu must ensure the profile of player meets the needs of this blossoming team to justify the likely cost needed to bring that type of forward to the club this summer.