Gabriel Jesus returns to Arsenal training ahead of the Fulham clash.
Arsenal’s conditioning has been much improved by the return of Gabriel Jesus to training with the club ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Fulham.
The Brazilian international was out for a substantial chunk of the 2022–23 season after aggravating a knee problem that required surgery during the World Cup.
Jesus had to have another operation to correct the problem. Due to injury he had to leave Nketiah, Havertz, and Trossard as Mikel Arteta’s major options for the time being.
The former Manchester City player was expected to fully heal by September. However, Jesus’s second knee injury was not nearly as bad as his first.
However, Jesus’ rehabilitation appears to be going better than expected, as he has already been seen warming up with the rest of the club ahead of the Cottagers’ visit.
It’s unclear whether the 26-year-old was able to do any ball work after their earlier workouts, so his participation this weekend is still in doubt, but his imminent return to full health will be music to Arteta’s ears.
Nketiah has started the Gunners’ first two games, against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace, and the former England Under-21 international has made an impact in both.
Nketiah scored Arsenal’s first goal of the season in a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest before winning a penalty at Selhurst Park on Monday, which Martin Odegaard converted to give the Gunners a 1-0 victory.
However, the 24-year-old was also responsible for two missed chances in the first half of that London derby, and Arteta will welcome an attacking problem ahead of Manchester United’s visit on September 3.
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While Jesus is nearing a return, fellow knee victim Jurrien Timber will be out for several months after sustaining a severe ACL damage against Forest on the first day of the season.
Albert Sambi Lokonga (muscle) and Folarin Balogun (foot) have also yet to play in a competitive match after suffering injuries in pre-season, and neither man was seen working with the main group on Thursday morning.
However, both guys are poised to leave North London before the deadline, with Brighton & Hove Albion reportedly interested in acquiring Lokonga on loan.
Meanwhile, Monaco are said to be close to reaching an agreement with Arsenal on a fee in principle for Balogun, who scored 21 Ligue 1 goals while on loan at Reims last season.
Along with Sambi Lokonga and Balogun, all of Cedric Soares, Nuno Tavares, Rob Holding, Nicolas Pepe, and Kierney are working away from the first team, despite Arteta’s insistence last week that the latter was still in his plans.
Due to Takehiro Tomiyasu’s ban, the Scotland international could be given a chance to return this weekend, but Oleksandr Zinchenko has recovered from a calf injury and will be asked to fill in on the left side.