Arsenal haven’t ruled out the possibility of Gabriel Jesus travelling to Lisbon for the Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday, but it’s currently unlikely.
Football.London report that whilst Gabriel Jesus is unlikely to be able to travel to Portugal on Thursday, Arsenal haven’t entirely ruled that possibility out.
Jesus was involved in Arsenal’s post-match warm-down at the weekend, joining the substitutes in an extensive small-sided training game.
The striker even tucked away a goal, according to one report, and Charles Watts wrote that it was the “clearest indication yet” that he is very close to joining full training.
Whether he’s involved in Lisbon or not, it seems extremely unlikely the Brazilian international will start against Sporting CP, which leaves Arsenal with a problem to solve.
Leandro Trossard is expected to miss Thursday’s game, and Eddie Nketiah is also unlikely to be back in time, though Football.London report that Arsenal will make a late decision on the latter striker.
Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe are the alternative options available if no one else is back in time.
Jesus had scored five goals and assisted five in his 14 Premier League games for Arsenal before his injury, as well as laying on an assist in a Europa League game against Bodo/Glimt and winning a penalty against Liverpool.
More than just the goals, the striker helped to transform Arsenal’s play and make the Gunners comfortable league leaders.
One of the Premier League’s best-performing players in the first half of the campaign, it will be a huge boost to have Jesus back available again.