Mikel Arteta Issues Warning To Gabriel Jesus On His Long-Awaited Return From Injury
Mikel Arteta has issued a warning to Gabriel Jesus on his long-awaited return from injury. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has cautioned returning star forward Gabriel Jesus that he will not simply walk back into the club after a lengthy injury layoff.
Following his £45 million summer signing from Manchester City, Jesus was a revelation for the Gunners in the first half of the season, racking up 11 direct goal involvements in 14 Premier League games to truly set in motion the title campaign that Arsenal are now constructing.
Nevertheless, a knee injury sustained while with Brazil at the World Cup in December forced him to miss three months of activity. Jesus merely came on as a late substitute in Sunday’s 3-0 triumph over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Although Jesus was undoubtedly a tremendous help in the last stretch of the season, Arsenal had continued their strong form and found goals from other sources – Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in particular had both been exceptional in 2023.
That means he still has work to do in order to command the ‘number nine’ role he formerly held.
“A significant boost. The return of the Brazilian was “the first step,” Arteta remarked.
“We didn’t know whether it was the proper game but I looked him in his eyes [the day before] and he said: ‘I am ready’. He must now earn his spot, just like any other player.”
Arsenal will now take a break from their Premier League title defense to focus on the Europa League and the second leg of their last 16 clash against Sporting CP. The first leg in Portugal ended 2-2 last week, therefore making this game at the Emirates a one-off play-off.
Arsenal’s final game before the March international break will be against Crystal Palace at home.