Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Jesus: Nketiah deserves England call-up

Gabriel Jesus says he and Eddie Nketiah are making each other better players and that his fellow striker fully deserves his recent call-up to the England senior squad.

Nketiah has looked very lively in his four appearances so far this season, scoring on the opening day against Nottingham Forest, winning the penalty that Martin Odegaard converted at Crystal Palace before coming off the bench to net in the 2-2 draw against Fulham.

While chances were thin on the ground against Manchester United, the 24-year-old’s hold-up play came to the fore as Arsenal left it late to secure the points in an enthralling encounter.

Having undergone a minor procedure on the knee that he injured at the World Cup, Jesus has mostly had a watching brief although he did grab his first goal of the season as a substitute on Sunday. He’ll be hoping for more game time after the Interlull.

Reflecting on the battle to be Arteta’s first choice attacker, Jesus told the Press Association: “First of all, competition is always good – for me and for him. In all positions when you have competition it’s a good thing.

“From day one, I’m a big fan of Eddie because of the way he works and the way he trains is amazing. It’s not easy to come from the academy at a massive club and fight to play in the first team.

“Congrats to him, he’s doing so well and he deserves to be called into the England national team.

“For me personally, it’s good competition. It’s always good for the club because for sure he’s making me better and I’m making him better as well.”

Nketiah heads to St George’s Park today for his first meet-up as a senior player. He faces stiff competition from a host of attacking talent at Gareth Southgate’s disposal but as the leading scorer at under-21 level, he’ll back himself if he gets a chance.

Jesus meanwhile, has a couple of weeks to focus on his fitness. He had looked sharp in pre-season, particularly in the 5-3 win over Barcelona in Los Angeles – Arteta even claimed the Brazilian was back to his best – but he soon had to go under the knife again.

For a player who missed a sizable chunk of the last campaign, it was clearly difficult to swallow.

“When I came back, in the first week, still nothing [on the pain front in his knee],” he reflected.

“Then after I started to feel it. And for me, it was (a case of) if I’m not 100 per cent, I won’t be myself. I was trying. Personally, I’m good with the pain, so I was keeping playing and training.

“I was feeling it a little bit, but for me it was nothing. But then we hit a point when I couldn’t run or move, so I decided to do a surgery and that was it.

He added: “The first day [after finding out you need surgery] is s**t when you just find out. Then the day after you realise you have to keep going, fighting and smile because I have a life.

“That was tough, but now I’m getting back. It’s so important to get the rhythm again, so, yeah. I’m back. I feel good and I’m happy.”

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Every time again impressed by the spirit in this squad. And Jesus might be the player most emblematic of it, all he wants is to help the team and nothing else


he was a menace and draw two yellows


wrong post, meant Eddie


I found myself several times thinking “Wow, Eddie seems a lot more confident in the build-up play”. I used to think of him as the pointy end of the spear, and cross my fingers that he’d get some decent chances his way, but seeing him run around helping weave that wonderful Arsenal midfield magic was just brilliant.

Maybe this isn’t new, and I’ve just been blind, but he seems a lot more “integrated” into the team recently, and not just a big (lovely!) fella in the box.

We love ya’ Eddie!!


I don’t think you have been blind. Genuinely think Eddie has played the best football of his career in the games so far this season. He was superb yesterday imo


He also just looks *faster* doesn’t he?


it certainly looks like his economy of movement has improved, which keeps him fresher longer.

Gunnar Elí

He’s a true fox in the box. Adding the hold up and showing his engine.
Been very good.

More to come and i love it ❤️


It’s not your imagination at all. When Eddie first stepped into the squad, he was nothing but a poacher in the 6-yard box (although a damn fine one, to be sure). Now, under Mikel’s training and guidance, he’s matured into a much more complete player. He tracks back, he presses, he holds up, he lays the ball off – all the things that we want in a successful striker. He’s all over the field and wherever he is, he makes stuff happen. I used to think we should sell Eddie and keep Balogun, because I was of the opinion Eddie… Read more »


I noticed Eddie doing some Jesus esque things recently like backing onto people when holding the ball up and battering through a crowded opposition box with some crazy skill. Also Jesus assist from Fabio through the middle was quite similar to Eddie’s recently.
If we end up with two of them with similar play feeding off each other and getting better that could be quite entertaining …


Jesus has clearly inspired Eddie and from Day 1 at the club he was all about the focus on team spirit. What a player to have as part of the club.

Man Manny

Jesus looked quite sharp and almost unplayable in yesterday’s cameo. And I noticed he was leaning more to the right than the left of last season.
Could that be a tweak from the gaffer?
If he stays fit though, I am backing him to cross the 20 goal mark in all competitions this season.


Saka was not working out his magic on the right, Vieira, Tommy and Rice were keeping our left busy.

Man Manny

Even against Fulham, he was drifting right too. I think he is playing to instruction.


when you read or hear jesus speak about the group and the goals, you understand immediately why he’s included in the leadership group. not only is he a positive influence on those around him, he’s growing into the role. it can only help his confidence.

Gunnar Elí

A bargain,
What a brilliant personality


Was watching the third goal yesterday about 50 times on repeat, it’s so lovely to see Jesus finishing like that, plus that inch-perfect and perfectly-timed one-touch pass by Vieira and Nelson winning the ball and feeding it to him perfectly just prior to that, a goal like that just makes you feel so good about our squad.


It was a thing of simple beauty. Appears effortless. But isn’t. Speaking of one touch passes, Eddie’s to Gabi in the Ode’s goal deserves a mention. Years gone by I’m not sure he does that. More of a team player now.


Let’s hope that Eddie can continue to take some of the strain off Jesus this season, because when Jesus is at 100% he’s absolutely electric


Eddie has done really well this season. So well, that if the club decided to sell him for an upgrade, we’d possibly get over a million for him.


Good to see Nelson busting a gut to get in the six yard box even tho Jesus scored himself and by the way did anyone notice how odegaard tracked back like a maniac to left back about 95 mins into the game and also how we were first to the ball at corners post Fulham nonsense
At least they look like are trying to give a sh*t – good show


I don’t think Captain Fantastic was on the pitch at 95 mins was he?


He won us the corner for Rice’s goal, and got substituted after that, in the 99th minute (I know, not often we see 99th minute subs).


I think he was, i think he was substituted for Jorginho afer the Rice goal


What’s great is the lack of selfishness. When Jesus scored the third goal, Eddie raced onto the pitch to congratulate him.

Teryima Adi

He’s back indeed judging by what he did to Dalot yesterday.😃

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