Arteta Sweats on Jesus Fitness: Star Striker’s Knee Issue Raises Concern Ahead of Liverpool Clash

Mikel Arteta faces an anxious wait over the fitness of key striker Gabriel Jesus after revealing the Brazilian played through the pain barrier during Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Jesus, who battled back from knee surgery earlier this season, emerged as the hero at the City Ground, scoring the opener and setting up Bukayo Saka for the clincher. However, Arteta’s post-match press conference was overshadowed by concerns about the striker’s fitness ahead of Sunday’s crucial Premier League clash against Liverpool.

“Gabi started to win the game two days ago,” Arteta revealed. “He had an issue with his knee and everyone was trying to protect him, saying don’t go outside. But he was saying (matchday) -2, (matchday) -1, I want to be there, I want to help the team to win the game. When you have that mentality, good things are going to happen. I’m really pleased with him.”

The manager admitted to concerns about the injury, stating, “I don’t know. He got hit big time in the last game. His knee reacted and it’s the knee he had (surgery on) before.” However, he offered reassurance, adding, “He was super positive, he’s feeling good and he was so sharp in training. I’m not surprised with the way he played tonight.”

Jesus’s battling performance exemplifies the spirit Arteta hopes to see against Liverpool. Despite dominating the first half against Forest, they lacked clinical finishing, a concern facing a high-flying Reds side. “We hit the post, Gabi has two headers, Emile has another one, Martin has two chances that don’t end up with a shot, Bukayo has two or three again,” said Arteta. “They have to make those decisions. I don’t know how to teach them to kick it there and then have a rebound that goes in.”

Written by Owen Sanders

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