Gabriel Jesus believes he is ready to play full games for Arsenal after he hit a brace in a hour-long performance in a win over Leeds that keeps them eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Having required surgery on a knee injury suffered at the World Cup, Jesus’ comeback had been a gradual one but it was completed just at the right time as he shone in a win which keeps Arsenal eight points clear at the summit.
The Brazil forward had not scored since October but converted a first-half penalty he had won himself and then added the third after former Leeds loanee Ben White had doubled the lead – Rasmus Kristensen pulling a goal back for Leeds before Granit Xhaka’s header secured the points.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had spoken about Jesus on the eve of the clash, saying his summer signing was ready to bring back the “chaos” that he had generated during a fine first few months in north London.
However, the 25-year-old has yet to play from start to finish since his return – something he is hoping can change soon.
“Obviously, every player wants to play the full 90 minutes,” he said.
“I think I’m ready to play more minutes. However, when the ref said to me I was going off, I was a little bit disappointed because I want to play, but of course I respect the manager and the other players as well. So, it was 60 minutes, but I enjoyed it a lot.
“It was so good playing again, starting again and feeling the atmosphere of the crowd. I want to score and I practice penalties.
“The most important thing is always the three points. It doesn’t matter how [we do it], but three points are always the most important thing.
“Obviously, I want to score, I want to help the team with the goals. I missed a big part of the season and now I just want to play and help the team.”
The result leaves Leeds on the cusp of the bottom three, sitting just a point clear of Leicester – who sacked Brendan Rodgers on Sunday afternoon.
Brenden Aaronson felt the players let themselves down by conceding the second goal straight after the interval but insists they will continue to fight against the drop.
“I think we had them on the counter attack a few times, we didn’t finish our chances,” he said.
“That’s the end of the story. I mean, if we finished those that could be a different game.
“Listen, we came in at half-time and we knew we were going to have to keep defending and stay strong, but we let ourselves down.
“That’s what happens sometimes. But it’s all about moving on and on to the next. I mean, the thing about this team is we don’t give up. We’re going to keep not giving up until the end of the season.”