Dejan Iliev has posted on his social media to praise the Arsenal physio who was pivotal to Gabriel Jesus’ recent recovery from injury.

Dejan Iliev after signing for HJK Helsinki (Photo via
Dejan Iliev after signing for HJK Helsinki (Photo via

Writing in The Telegraph this week, Sam Dean highlighted the importance of Arsenal head physiotherapist Jordan Reece in Gabriel Jesus’ return from a knee injury.

Dean reported that Reece was fundamental to the whole process, and he proved so pivotal that when Jesus returned to Brazil – a month after his surgery – the physio went with him.

Spotting the report on Twitter, former Arsenal goalkeeper Dejan Iliev had his own story to tell.

“Jordan Reece is one of the best physios!” Iliev said. “He is a great man and very professional at his job.

“I’ve spent a lot of time working with him on my recovery from my knee injury at the time when I was in Arsenal and he played [a] very important part in my rehab to bring me back on the pitch.”

It’s always good to hear positive reports on the Arsenal staff behind the scenes, particularly unprompted and directly from one of the players themselves.

Dejan Iliev in training with Arsenal (Photo via Iliev on Instagram)
Dejan Iliev in training with Arsenal (Photo via Iliev on Instagram)

After a long association with Arsenal, Iliev left the Gunners for Slovakian side AS Trencin in February 2022.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper had spent almost a decade in north London, including a number of loan spells around Europe, and it was time for him to make the next step in his career.

But given he was only signing a one-and-a-half-year deal with AS Trencin, it was always likely Iliev would be on the move again soon.

12 months later, Finnish club HJK Helsinki confirmed the signing of Iliev on a one-year deal with an option to extend by a further year.

Iliev kept a clean sheet on his debut in the Liigacup in February, and he’s made one further appearance since then.

The regular Veikkausliiga campaign kicks off in April, so there will be more chances to feature next month.