After netting a brace to help us beat Leeds United 4-1, Gabriel Jesus has thanked our supporters for continuing to back him during his six-month wait to get on the scoresheet.
The striker had been on 11-game drought before the World Cup where he suffered the knee injury that kept him out for four months, but finally managed to find the net again when he stepped up to convert a penalty against the Whites.
And he was delighted to finally repay our Gooners with a goal, after they continued to back him as he worked his way back to form and fitness.
“It was so good playing again, starting again and feeling the atmosphere of the crowd,” he said post-match. “The supporters come all together, and the way they support me is massive.
“I just want to say thank you to them for supporting me until the end. It’s not easy when you’re seeing your striker not scoring goals but they always support me.”
Gabby could have been forgiven for having some nerves when he stepped up to take the penalty given the pressure on him to finally get back on track, but he revealed he had been practising in the build-up to the game and felt confident if he was given the chance to score his first goal since October.
“I want to score and I practise [penalties],” he said. “Yesterday I was practising with the guys, so I was confident, I wanted [to take it]. That’s the best way to take 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.”
Now he is back amongst the goals it feels as though Gabby’s comeback is complete, and the four-month anguish of difficult and tiring rehab was all worth it to help his team to another big win and contribute massively.
He believes that there is more to come over the coming weeks as he continues to build up his match sharpness, as Mikel Arteta and our medical staff continue to ease him back gently after a long lay-off.
Reflecting on his time out, he added: “I love challenges. Obviously with an injury and when there’s surgery involved, it’s not easy but if God gives me this challenge, it’s because I can survive and come back stronger.
“I remember day one of rehab, working hard and thinking about the way to come back. If I don’t work hard, I’ll come back soft.
“Obviously, every player wants to play the full 90 minutes, 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.”
Press play on the video above to see the full interview with Gabby, and make sure you check out our documentary series Come Back Stronger: The Return of Gabriel Jesus which followed the striker for four months, from surgery to his first-team return.
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