Mikel Arteta reveals Arsenal's return plan for Gabriel Jesus
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists that he will not rush Gabriel Jesus back into the team despite his return to full training.
Jesus has endured a lengthy lay-off after picking up a knee injury while on international duty with Brazil - an injury that ruled him out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The 25-year-old returned to training ahead of Thursday's Europa League round of 16 first leg clash with Sporting CP, fuelling speculation of an imminent return to the side.
But speaking to the media ahead of the game, Arteta tempered expectations over a potential return date for Jesus and insisted the club will take their time to ensure he has fully recovered.
“We will try not to rush him back," the Spaniard said. "We will try to make a fair assessment between what he needs and when he is comfortable, and as well giving the team a boost that it’s going to need in the next few weeks.
“Everything is going well, he needs time to get that confidence and that physical state that is necessary to compete with a free mind. Once he’s free to do that, we will throw him in.”
Jesus' teammate at club and international level, Gabriel Martinelli, was also in attendance at the press conference, and he said it'll be a huge boost for Arsenal when Jesus returns to action.
“For sure it’s a big [boost], he’s a great guy and a great player,” Martinelli said. “For me he’s one of the best in the world. It’s going to help us a lot in the last few months.”
Despite missing their star striker, the Gunners have continued to impress in the Premier League and hold a five-point advantage over nearest rivals Manchester City heading into the final 12 games of the 2022/23 season.
On this edition of The Chronicles of a Gooner, part of the 90min podcast network, Harry Symeou previews Arsenal's trip to Sporting CP in the Europa League and reacts to Gabriel Jesus' return to full training.
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