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How Gabriel Jesus’ return boosts Arsenal for the title final run in

After an untimely injury, Arsenal will soon gain the long-awaited return of their talisman, Gabriel Jesus.

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Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus
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After an untimely injury, Arsenal will soon gain the long-awaited return of their talisman, Gabriel Jesus.

The injury sustained by Gabriel Jesus during the World Cup caused vast amounts of panic amongst the Arsenal fanbase. However, as he returns to full training, Arsenal are right where they were before the winter break; 5 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Jesus’ return will be an extremely welcome boost to Mikel Arteta’s side; the Brazilian had been a revelation for the Gunners since signing from Manchester City, transforming the attacking force Arsenal provided, week in, week out.

Jesus had started every Premier League game before the break; scoring 5 goals in the process. However, those who have seen Jesus’ impact on Arsenal will deduce that his impact stretches far beyond the finishing touches.

Furthermore, Jesus’ return comes at an important moment for Arsenal, after recently losing both Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard to injuries, both who have stepped in for Jesus during his absence.

How does Jesus’ return impact Arsenal?

Amongst Arsenal’s fanbase, the feeling is that the Brazilian’s return could not come soon enough.

Whilst Eddie Nketiah has been more than a competent deputy in various instances, it is undeniable that Jesus brings a lot more to the table than Nketiah.

 

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One of the main beneficiaries of the 25-year-old’s return is Jesus’ fellow Brazilian international, Gabriel Martinelli.

Up until recently, Martinelli had struggled to make the same impact in games as he had done before the World Cup break; Arsenal’s number 11 had struggled to find the back of the net until Mikel Arteta began to select Leandro Trossard over Eddie Nketiah.

Trossard provided more of a “false nine” dynamic than a more traditional striker in Nketiah; the false nine position is one which Jesus thrives in.

Jesus occupying spaces on the left side of the pitch will create more space for Martinelli; who had scored 5 goals before Jesus’ injury.

For regular supporters of the Gunners’, Martinelli’s diminished impact in games during Jesus’ absence will have been noticeable; and with Martinelli beginning to find form again with 3 goals in his last 2, Jesus’ return should only benefit his fellow Brazilian and add even more dimensions to a devastating Arsenal attack.

With Jesus, Arsenal’s attack become increasingly multi-faceted; none more so than when Arsenal are chasing a goal. This was especially evident during Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Fulham in August.

Arsenal had looked flat and lacking ideas; they were soon punished by Aleksandr Mitrovic early in the second half.

After going a goal down, Arteta immediately made a substitution, bringing on Eddie Nketiah for Kieran Tierney. As a result, Arsenal had switched to a 3-5-2, with Jesus and Nketiah pairing up to lead the line. Arsenal suddenly looked a lot livelier due to the tactical change, and eventually came back to win the game, 2-1.

With the absence of Jesus, Arteta has been unable to make this switch, due to the lack of striking options. This would have been especially helpful in games against opposition such as Newcastle, Everton, and even Manchester City.

On and off the pitch, Gabriel Jesus serves as one of the main leaders in Mikel Arteta’s squad. Along with Oleksandr Zinchenko, who had similarly arrived from Manchester City, Jesus carries the experience of winning numerous Premier League titles, whilst the vast majority of the Arsenal squad are attempting to win their first one this season.

Jesus has led by example, leading Arteta to promote the Brazilian to a leadership role along with Granit Xhaka, to support Arsenal’s captain, Martin Odegaard.

Jesus’ return also adds depth to Arteta’s squad; with Arsenal’s Europa League campaign restarting, Arteta will require quality depth in order to stay in strong contention for both the Premier League, and in Europe.

Jesus’ ability to single-handedly change a game is a much-needed boost for Arsenal; with the Gunners having 12 games to go in the Premier League title race, and having to play tough opposition such as Newcastle, Liverpool, and most significantly, Manchester City, Arsenal and their fans will hope their Number 9 is able to lead Arsenal over the line.

NEXT ARTICLE: The Arsenal boss has made a plea to his players in order to remain at the top come May.

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