Mikel Arteta fires warning to Gabriel Jesus after Arsenal injury return as boss reveals behind-the-scenes chats with ace | The Sun
GABRIEL JESUS was warned he will not walk straight back into Arsenal’s title-chasing team.
Mikel Arteta celebrated his 100th win as Gunners boss as they restored their five-point advantage at the top of the Premier League table.
And he was further cheered by the return of Jesus for his first appearance since injuring his knee on World Cup duty for Brazil in December.
Speaking after an impressive 3-0 win at Fulham, Arteta said: “It’s great to have him back and it was such a big boost for Gabi and for the club. But now he has to earn his place in the team like every player.
“We have many alternatives who can play in different positions and fill in the chemistry of what we ask the players to do.
“But it’s a great problem to have because Gabi put so much work into the last few months and all the staff spent hours trying to fulfil his needs.”
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Forward Jesus, 25, came on as a 77th-minute sub.
Arteta added: “He wanted more and more to come back and it was a real joy to see him at the final whistle with a big smile on his face.
“We didn’t know if it was the right game for him. He said to me a few days ago, ‘I’m still missing something’, but yesterday he looked into my eyes and said ‘OK, I’m ready’.
“So we had that opportunity to throw him in for the last 20 minutes and straight away he looked free and generated two big chances.”
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First-half goals from defender Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard made it a comfortable afternoon for Arteta, who said: “I didn’t know it was the 100th win but hopefully there will be many more.
“It’s really tough when you are playing every three days and travelling to Europe and back.
“So to see our energy, quality, understanding and willingness to dominate again was very impressive.
“Fulham is a tough place to come but we dominated the game, created lots of chances, kept a clean sheet and won in a convincing way.”
Captain Odegaard said: “Having Gabi back is a massive boost. We all know what he will give to the team and we’re excited he’s available again.”
Fulham chief Marco Silva blasted: “Arsenal deserved the three points but for the first half it looked like we weren’t on the pitch.
“We were too soft, not brave or aggressive enough and we let them play the way they wanted to.
“All three goals were completely our fault.”
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