Updated:Mar 8, 2023 5:46 pm
Gabriel Jesus trained with the first team today in the build-up to their clash with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday in the Europa League round of 16. While it is unclear if he will play in the game, it is an immensely positive bit of news for both the Arsenal team and fans.
With both Nketiah and now Trossard out, Gabriel Jesus returns to continue Arsenal’s pursuit of a first league title in almost 20 years.
Despite Gabriel Jesus being criticised by opposition fans for a lack of goals for the club, it is clear that his role is far broader than that of a pure goalscorer like Haaland is for Man City.
Gabriel Jesus interacts with the midfield behind him and Arsenal’s wingers particularly well to create opportunities for them. This has resulted in both Saka and Martinelli being on 10 and 11 goals respectively as well as Odegaard sitting on 9.
Arsenal has struggled without Gabriel Jesus despite the surprisingly impactful contribution from January-signing Leandro Trossard from Brighton which in both Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus’ absence has pushed Martinelli central.
It is clear to see that Arsenal can and likely will revert back to a similar style to the one they used before the world cup and Jesus’ injury with Martinelli going back out on the left and Saka remaining on the right with Gabriel Jesus playing the link-up role and creating space for the three attackers behind him to be creative and frighten defences.
Arsenal faces Fulham who sits in 7th at Craven Cottage this weekend. While on the surface, this appears a comfortable win for Arsenal, their game against Bournemouth last weekend also did. In their game against bottom-of-the-table Bournemouth, Arsenal struggled to break down Bournemouth’s low block. This was made increasingly difficult combined with their time-wasting and goal within the first 9 seconds by Philip Billing. Although Arsenal played their beautiful intricate football and dominated the ball, it took a Reiss Nelson volley with the last kick of the game in 90+7 to take home the three points.
I see this as a great opportunity for Arsenal to continue their great form and really push on to the title with their rivals looking like they aren’t going to put a foot wrong any time soon.
With 12 Premier League games to go, will Jesus’ return be a defining moment in the run-in to crowning the domestic league champion? We will find out on 28 May.