The return of Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus to full fitness could create a dilemma for manager Mikel Arteta, according to Gunners legend Paul Merson.
Jesus made his long-awaited comeback from knee surgery against Fulham on Sunday, playing the last 13 minutes of the 3-0 victory in place of Leandro Trossard.
It was his first Arsenal appearance since November, having suffered the injury during Brazil’s World Cup campaign.
Speaking after the game, Arteta said of the Brazilian (quotes via football.london): “Big boost [having Jesus back]. The first step today.
“We didn’t know if it was the right game today. He said to me a few days ago, ‘I’m still missing something’.
“Yesterday I looked in his eyes and he said, ‘I’m ready’. I said, ‘OK!’ So then we had the opportunity to throw him in. It’s that first step to give him the big boost.”
Prior to his absence, Jesus scored five goals and provided five assists in this season’s Premier League in just 14 appearances.
His return was certainly a timely one for Arteta, with fellow centre forward Eddie Nketiah currently out with an ankle injury.
Trossard has been filling in up front for the Gunners, but the Belgian is a more natural option on either flank.
However, Merson believes that due to the Belgian’s form, and Nketiah’s run in the team before his injury, Jesus’ return to full fitness could give Arteta a dilemma.
Merson on Gabriel Jesus
Speaking in his column for Sky Sports, Merson explained: “Gabriel Jesus coming back is a bit of a problem for Arsenal because the lad will want to play – he didn’t sign to be a bit-part player like he was at Man City. It will cause problems in time, but at the moment it’s like another signing.
“Leandro Trossard could play for Man City. It’s an unbelievable signing for £27m. When his agent said to him he was going to Arsenal for that fee he must have thought, ‘Is that all I’m worth?!’
“The lad could go in the Man City team on Tuesday and you wouldn’t know any different, he’s that good.
“But Arsenal play like Man City, if you put them in a light blue kit you would think they are. You don’t get bigger compliments than that.”