Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal supporters to not place too much pressure on Gabriel Martinelli to rescue their season.
The 19-year-old had been sidelined since June after requiring knee surgery but finally made his first-team return on Saturday as he came on as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.
Before his injury, Martinelli had showed plenty of promise for Arsenal and he finished last season with 10 goals in 26 appearances.
Arsenal supporters have been eagerly anticipating Martinelli’s return following their poor start to the Premier League season.
But Arteta insists it is unfair to place too much responsibility on the Brazilian.
‘We cannot put that pressure on his shoulders, I don’t think it’s fair for him,’ said Arteta ahead of Arsenal’s quarter-final clash against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening.
‘He brings that enthusiasm that the fans can see because he’s got something special. He’s got a special energy every time he steps on that field.
‘But remember that what Gabi has done in the Premier League in the time he has been with us is very limited and let him develop like we are doing with many other young kids we have here.
‘It’s the same with many other young players who are taking more responsibility than they should do in this moment.
‘They have to try to do their best but I don’t think it’s fair to put all the pressure on them as well.’