Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta described Gabriel Jesus’ return from injury as a “huge boost” but warned the Brazilian must win back his place in the team as they fight for the Premier League title.
First-half goals from Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard restored their five-point lead over Manchester City with a 3-0 win over Fulham on Sunday.
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Leandro Trossard provided three assists in an impressive display as Arsenal’s centre-forward before being replaced in the final 13 minutes by Jesus, who made his first appearance for the club since November 5 following knee surgery.
“[It is a] great momentum [to have him back], – said Arteta. – Today is the first step. We didn’t know if today’s game was right. He told me a few days ago, “I’m still missing something.” Yesterday I looked into his eyes and he said “I’m ready”. I said ok.
“Then we had a chance to throw it. This is the first step that will give him a big boost. He looks free, he looks poised and he’s created two big chances at once. It’s great to have him back.
“[But] he has to take his place like other teams. We have options that can play in different positions and we have different goals depending on the chemistry of the players and what we are asking them to do. This is a big deal, trust me.
“We try to adapt to the quality of the players we have, deploying them as much as possible to their strengths and where we want them. Leo. [Leandro Trossard] He has qualities that are completely different from Gabi and Martin [Odegaard] complements it very well in terms of space and understanding. It’s great to have that versatility.”