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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that Gabriel Jesus is edging closer to a return, with the striker “progressing really well.”
The Brazilian had been in fine form for the Gunners following his move from Manchester City, scoring five goals and creating six others in his 14 Premier League games.
But the striker has not featured for the club since picking up a knee injury in December, much to the frustration of the talented forward.
Arsenal striker ‘progressing really well’
Despite Jesus’ injury, Arsenal have been enjoying a very strong campaign, with the Gunners currently top of the Premier League table. Some reports have suggested that the Brazilian will return to action at the beginning of next month, as Arsenal push for the league title and also the Europa League trophy.
Speaking to the Arsenal website, Gunners manager Arteta has now revealed just how close his star striker is to getting back into the matchday squad.
“He’s progressing really well,” said Arteta. “He’s doing more and more on the field and he’s not reacting [negatively], so that’s really positive.
“We want to have him as quickly as possible but also respect the timeframe we got from the doctor and the specialists. He’s really pushing the boundaries right now.”
Partey back in contention?
Arsenal continue their title charge with two fixtures in quick succession, beginning with a trip to Leicester tomorrow. Everton then travel to the Emirates on Wednesday.
Joining Jesus on the injury table in recent times has been midfielder Thomas Partey, but the Ghanaian could make a return just in time for the trip to the King Power Stadium.
When asked about the latest team news for the meeting with the Foxes, Arteta replied: “Not a lot of changes. The question mark is on Thomas. He hasn’t trained much but it looks like he could be available, so let’s see how he trains today. He’s a really important player for us, who we missed in the last few games. Hopefully he can be available.”
Arsenal star injury-free despite challenges
One player that has managed to stay injury-free this season is young star Bukayo Saka, despite being the recipient of several dangerous challenges in the eyes of Arteta.
The 21-year-old is Arsenal’s top scorer this season with 10 goals in all competitions, nine of which have come in the Premier League.
When asked if he is worried that Saka could pick up an injury, Arteta responded: “Hopefully not, but we have to train for that and he has to learn when to take certain balls and what he has to do with that ball, how to use his body and when to jump. There are a lot of things that we can train for, but it’s very difficult to understand what the opponent is going to do.”
The Arsenal boss added: “We cannot control what the opponents are going to do, or the referee’s decisions in a split second. It’s something we cannot control, so we have to control what we can: help him to become a better player, be more efficient, and that’s it.”
New week, same objectives 👊 pic.twitter.com/DefpFX6UiE
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 20, 2023