Arsenal head to Goodison Park on Sunday to take on Everton in the Premier League and it looks like Gabriel Jesus is going to warm the benches once again.
All eyes were on Bukayo Saka and his Achilles issue during the international break but Mikel Arteta has come out to claim that the England international is fully fit and available for selection.
The Arsenal manager told the press: “He’s fine. He trained normally today so nothing to report there. Every player has pains or issues. That’s normal in elite sports, but nothing to worry about.”
This is great news because Bukayo Saka has been the top performer for the Gunners in the previous few seasons and he is one of the first names on Arteta’s team sheets. Also, Arsenal are going to return to the Champions League next week so any major injury and the youngster would have missed the game against PSV.
Saka’s fitness might be a boost for him personally and for his manager but we feel it’s bad news for Gabriel Jesus and his chances of getting a start on Sunday.
Arsenal had paid £45million to sign Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City and last season, the Brazil international was sensational for the club. However, constant injuries have forced him to slow down and right now, Mikel Arteta is relying on Eddie Nketiah as his main centre-forward.
The manager did praise Jesus in his press conference but we seriously doubt if all those good words will translate into a start against Everton.
Arteta said: “Gabriel changed our world last season. He is a tremendous player, really important for us.
“He brought a different energy, different belief, different threat, a different fear for opponents. And he did it in a really natural way. He contributed hugely to the step we made last season.”
Partey’s injury means the manager is going to keep using Kai Havertz in midfield and keep Eddie Nketiah up front which means Gabriel Jesus will once again start on the bench.
The 26-year-old has clearly seen a dip in form and this season, he’s scored one goal in two Premier League starts and that one was the third goal against Manchester United, deep into stoppage time.
As things stand, it looks like Gabriel Jesus has fallen down the pecking order and now, it’s a personal battle for him to prove himself in training and win back his manager’s trust. Arsenal have returned to the Champions League so the forward will get a lot more chances to prove himself but a player of his calibre will want to start each and every game instead of coming off the bench in the final quarter of matches.