Gabriel Jesus was named in the matchday squad for the first time since 12th of November following a knee procedure he had to go through while at the World Cup with Brazil.
Arsenal fans will be ecstatic to hear the news as Jesus was one of the key players who made this title challenge possible in the first place. Him and Zinchenko brought a new energy to the team and it felt like Arteta got his missing pieces once it all started clicking.
XHAKA/MARTINELLI + TROSSARD/NKETIAH
Both Xhaka and Martinelli were the ones who felt Jesus not being around the most.
Jesus gravitated a lot more towards the left than the right, often interchanging positions with Martinelli and dropping into the left halfspace for combination play and chaos making. Jesus’ dribbling ability combined with low centre of gravity and strong stature were key to moving opposition players out of positions and making space for others in the process. This in return gave Martinelli and Xhaka more options and freedom to work with. Xhaka’s number of final third runs decreased and Martinelli suffered from being isolated at times as the dynamics of the left hand side were completely changed.
Still, Nketiah replaced Jesus well up until he started having injury problems himself… but their skillset, as well as the zones they operate in are different.
Trossard somewhat replicated the free flowing nature of Jesus up top but at a lesser rate, he’s done very well too whenever he’s been called into action. His latest masterclass came in the Fulham game, with the Belgian picking up a hattrick of assists in the process.
Jesus made his long awaited appearance against Fulham, in a 3-0 victory at Craven Cottage.
Jesus came on for just about 13 minutes but he showed the injury hasn’t affected him much. His pace looks normal, he looks strong in duels and his dribbling is all there.
He even had a huge chance, after Vieira played him in but he couldn’t manage to convert.
He’s had a few really high intensity sprints while closing people down (and succesfully I must add) but the most important thing is that he’s playing without fear.
All about gaining match fitness and continuity now. I’m positive he’ll come back in exactly the same physical condition as he was in before.
ALL OF THE LIGHTS
With Jesus back, Arsenal have everything they need to win the Premier League. What started out as a wild dream at the start of the season is now becoming a reality.
Jesus is the key piece of this Arsenal team and his presence was very much felt already even if it was for only 13 minutes. Jesus is unique and Arsenal have done incredibly well to stay at the top in all of this time without him.
Drink it in, enjoy the moment and support this team through thick and thin. They need it!
33 points left, 11 finals to go now. #COYG