‘Now he needs to earn his place’: Mikel Arteta warns Gabriel Jesus he is NOT guaranteed a place in Arsenal’s title-chasing XI despite hailing his return from injury as a ‘big boost’
Mikel Arteta has heralded Gabriel Jesus’ return from injury – but warned the Arsenal striker he isn’t guaranteed a place in his starting XI.
The Gunners striker made his first appearance since undergoing knee surgery in December, coming on as a second half substitute in the comprehensive win over Fulham as Arsenal restored their five point gap at the top of the Premier League.
Jesus’ return comes as a huge fillip to Arteta as his team prime themselves for the title run-in.
Arteta said: A big boost. It was the first step today. We didn’t know whether it was the right game but yesterday I looked him in his eyes and he said: “I am ready”.
‘Now he needs to earn his place, like any other player.’
Mikel Arteta says that Gabriel Jesus will not walk straight back into the Gunners team
Jesus was making his first appearance since a knee injury sustained at the World Cup
January signing Leandro Trossard assisted all three goals for the Gunners. On the Belgian’s performance, Arteta said: ‘He was really impressive. He was willing to come back early (after picking up an injury last week).
‘He could have been unavailable for a week to 10 days extra. His football intelligence (is great), he knows what is requited straight away.
On his team’s routine win, Arteta added: ‘I’m really happy to win and get three points away from home, especially with a clean sheet. We had a goal disallowed and psychologically we overcame that.
‘It’s great to see the goals distributed through the team. Every time we put the ball in the net it’s great. We practice lots of things and today scored beautiful goals.’
Fulham boss was not happy with his team’s first half performance after goals from Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard condemned his to defeat before the break.
Leandro Trossard assisted all three goals in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Fulham on Sunday
‘Clearly they deserved the three points. We were on the pitch for the first half but some moments we weren’t.
‘We were too soft. Not brave enough. We were 50 percent of what we should have done. The second half was slightly different.
‘We created more chances, we showed more drive and were more aggressive. At last we expressed ourselves more on the pitch.’
Willian missed yesterday’s defeat with a slight back injury but his absence is unlikely to be long term.
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