By Pranav Shahaney

31st Mar, 2023 | 5:10pm

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta gives Gabriel Jesus update ahead of Leeds United clash

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes that Gabriel Jesus is close but not ready to start against Leeds United on 1 April.

The Brazil attacker missed a couple of months for his club since the World Cup and in March, returned to action without making a start for the Gunners.

He played a total of 38 minutes in the games against Fulham and Crystal Palace and it does not look like he will be playing more than 45 minutes against Javi Gracia’s side.

Arteta said on 31 March, via Football London, “He’s very close to that [starting]. In the last 10 days he’s made a big step forward. You can see he’s looser and not thinking about it. He’s creating that chaos in training. He’s in a really good place now.”

Tough one

Even though their striker is not starting, Arsenal have a number of players among their ranks to cause damage to Leeds.

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At home, the Gunners have been a different animal this season and the likes of Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard have the ability to be game changers every time they step onto the pitch.

The advantage Leeds can take into this one is William Saliba missing out and it remains to be seen how Gracia counters this.

He has spoken about playing a two-striker system and whether or not he does that against Arsenal is something worth deliberating about.

It certainly will take Arteta by surprise as he would be expecting his Spanish counterpart to go with a more conservative approach in this one.

Gracia has shown that he’s got the ability to adapt based on the opponent and he surely will have a plan in mind for the league leaders.

In other Leeds United news, a teenager now looks closer than ever after what he did at Thorp Arch during the international break with Javi Gracia taking note.

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