Mikel Arteta says that the whole squad are delighted for Gabriel Jesus after seeing him return to goalscoring form after his injury layoff.
The striker netted twice to help us beat Leeds United 4-1 at Emirates Stadium and record seven straight league wins under the Spaniard’s management for the first time, having been out for four months and undergoing gruelling rehab for a knee injury sustained at the World Cup.
That meant there was no more popular goalscorer than Gabby amongst the Arsenal faithful, and the boss admits that sentiment extends to his teammates and coaching staff too.
“Looking at the reaction of the team in the dressing room, everybody is so pleased for him,” Mikel said. “He’s worked so hard in the last four to five months to get back to the level that we all remember, but it’s not an easy thing to do. He had a lot of support from the staff to do that. Today we gave him the chance to start the game and he was exceptional.
“We need goals from different players, we need different kinds of goals and today I think we were exceptional in both boxes and that’s what, in my opinion, made a difference in the game.”
The win was even more impressive given that a sickness bug swept through London Colney, which meant Bukayo Saka was only fit enough for a spot on the bench.
However the strength in depth of our squad came to the fore as other players continued to step up when called upon, and that pleased Mikel as much as the display from his number nine.
“[Bukayo] wasn’t feeling good yesterday and wasn’t able to train,” he added. “He was feeling a bit better today, but we decided to play Leo because we have players who can perform, and we trust them. We could use him as well at the end of the game. It was really good to be able to see how the team reacted as well.
“It was a tricky week with internationals coming back and a few issues that we had with some of the players that we couldn’t decide the line-up until this morning, but the team reacted exceptionally well. The crowd was fully behind the team again, and it was just a joy to watch. Another very good performance, another win and now to go into the next one.”
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