Arsenal fans can expect to see the best of Gabriel Martinelli this season following the summer arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Martinelli helped the Gunners kick off their Premier League season in perfect fashion with the opening goal of a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Friday night.
It was an impressive display from Mikel Arteta’s men, but one that showed there is still more to come from his new and improved team after another summer of big spending.
Gabriel Jesus didn’t get on the scoresheet but looked unleashed for Arsenal, perhaps having had the shackles taken off following his departure from Pep Guardiola’s Man City.
But it was another former City man who also caught the eye, with Zinchenko putting in an assured performance at left-back.
The Ukrainian has always been known for his technical ability but looks to have added a new dimension to Arteta’s side, forming a potent partnership with Martinelli on the left.
The 21-year-old Brazilian is still very much a raw talent, as exhibited by when he put what should have been a simple goal wide with a miss-hit shot against the Eagles.
He put that right with his first-half header to mark his first appearance as Arsenal’s new No.11 with the first goal of the Premier League season.
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And Tony Cascarino believes Martinelli’s full potential will start to be unlocked this season thanks to Zinchenko.
“There were some very good performances from Arsenal, said the Weekend Sports Breakfast host and former Chslea striker.
“Zinchenko on the ball, I mean, wow. He just keeps the ball for fun.
“He’s so comfortable, and not just at full back, but dropping into the midfield area, as a lot of Man City players do.
“Martinelli is never going to have a better opportunity of having a left-sided full-back-cum-wideman to help him become a better player.”
French centre-back William Saliba also starred, bossing the Arsenal defence in what was remarkably his first competitive Arsenal appearance despite being a Gunners player for three years.
The 21-year-old was even dubbed a ‘young Rio Ferdinand’ and was given Man of the Match by club legend Martin Keown on talkSPORT, and Cascarino says the decision from Arteta to make the youngster wait for his chance in north London worked out perfectly.
“Obviously William Saliba will be getting a lot of plaudits as well,” he added.
“He was at Marseille last year and they had a really good season, they came second in France and he played very, very well.
“Defensively he was very sound. He looks really comfortable on the ball and doesn’t give the ball away easily.
“Everybody in France couldn’t believe he hadn’t been given a chance back in England, but if he goes out on loan, does really well and comes back to his parent club as a better player…”
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