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Arsenal news: Gabriel Jesus told he ‘doesn’t play’ in Mikel Arteta’s first-team

Arsenal news: Gabriel Jesus told he ‘doesn’t play’ in Mikel Arteta’s first-team

Gabriel Jesus does not deserve to simply walk straight back into the Arsenal team, in the view of pundit and former Gunner Paul Merson.

The Brazilian made his long-awaited return from injury earlier this month after undergoing knee surgery in December following an injury picked up at the World Cup.

While the 25-year-old’s absence was tipped to derail Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge, other members of Mikel Arteta’s squad stepped up.

Back-up striker Eddie Nketiah scored a memorable winner to seal a dramatic injury-time victory over Manchester United in January, while all of Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have hit double figures.

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January signing Leandro Trossard has also made an instant impact since his arrival from Brighton, giving Arteta a number of attacking options heading into the business end of the season.

Though Merson believes having the former Manchester City forward back is a “huge” boost for his former club, he stressed that Jesus would have to be “patient” to win his place back.

“Gabriel Jesus doesn’t play at the moment, for me,” wrote Merson for Sky Sports.

“He’s been out a long time. Trossard has come in and hit the ground running. Look at Arsenal’s last three league games – three goals, three goals, four goals. It’s not like they are short of goal scorers.

“Jesus is an unbelievable player to have on the bench, he’s got to be patient. It’s like having a transfer window now and Arsenal buying Jesus – it’s huge.”