Reports - Gabriel Jesus decision as Mikel Arteta can hand recalls to Arsenal stars against Everton

Arsenal welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, but how many changes should Mikel Arteta make to the side that started the 1-0 win over Leicester City?

Slowly but surely, Mikel Arteta is beginning to make full use of the Arsenal squad as he plots success across two competitions.

Previously, one accusation levelled at the Gunners’ manager was his seeming reluctance to deviate from his preferred starting line-up that included the likes of Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka as there was very little rotation, particularly in the Premier League, from the restart after the World Cup break up until the showdown against Manchester City.

However, the Spaniard has opted to freshen things up in recent games. Whether or not the decisions have been enforced or planned, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Jorginho and Leandro Trossard have all been handed opportunities to impress from the start in the past fortnight and at least two have done exactly that.

Then when factoring in Arteta’s comments with regard to Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe, more rotation is effectively a guarantee with Arsenal facing Everton, Bournemouth, Sporting CP (twice in the Europa League), Fulham and Crystal Palace within the next three weeks.

“Very close,” the Spaniard said when asked how close Vieira was to getting a chance in the Premier League. “He is starting to give me big headaches because I see every single day what he is capable of doing. A tremendous player. He now understands exactly what we want and physically he is a condition to compete at the right level in this league. He brings qualities that we don’t have in the squad. Very eager to give him more.”

Meanwhile, Smith Rowe who operated mostly as a left-winger last season – where he racked up double figures for goals in the Premier League – is seemingly being primed for a more central role when either Xhaka or captain Martin Odegaard are in need of a rest.

“He can do a bit of both, depending on the game plan and the couples and the units that we use in that left side,” Arteta said in response to being asked if the Gunners’ number 10 could fill in for Xhaka. “If you ask me where I see Emile really contributing at his best, for me it is in that attacking midfield position.”

Assuming both players and fit and available for selection against Everton on Wednesday night, they could provide the Arsenal boss with a team selection dilemma. With that said, as the Spaniard often opts to keep the number of changes limited.

Gabriel Jesus decision

Reports - Mikel Arteta may have foreshadowed the Arsenal star to be replaced by Gabriel Jesus after injury

March is upon us and with that comes the excitement of a potential return for Gabriel Jesus. The striker has been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery on December 6 and since 12 weeks have passed, some Arsenal fans have theorised that the Brazilian will at least be back in training this week.

That remains to be seen, although the Gunners’ manager has already hinted that whilst the £45m signing from Manchester City is making great progress, there are no plans to rush him back.

“He’s progressing well. Doing more and more on the field,” Arteta said in the pre-Leicester City press conference on Friday morning. “The knee’s not reacting so it’s really positive. We want him back as quick as possible, but also respecting the timescale that the doctors and the specialists are giving us.”

The likelihood is that regardless of whether Jesus is spotted in training before the Everton clash, the game will probably come too soon for him to be available for selection, especially considering Arteta’s reluctance to hand immediate recalls to players who have been sidelined for a lengthy period of time.

Nketiah return?

In Jesus’ absence, Eddie Nketiah has been leading the line for the north London outfit and responded to Arteta’s show of faith with important goals against West Ham United, Brighton and Manchester United to help maintain the Premier League title push.

But his 11-game starting streak across all competitions came to an end against Leicester with Trossard selected to operate as the central striker with Martinelli – the match-winner at the King Power Stadium – reclaiming his place on the left-hand side of Arsenal’s three-pronged attack.

The Belgian may not have got on the scoresheet, but he did enough to impress Arteta and there are a number of supporters clamouring for him to retain his place in the XI for the visit of the Toffees. An intriguing decision awaits especially as Nketiah has missed some big chances recently.

Partey for Jorginho

Signing Jorginho for £12m on January transfer deadline day is beginning to look like a shrewd piece of business as he’s slotted straight into Arsenal’s midfield and has allowed for Thomas Partey to not be rushed back from a minor injury problem. But now the latter is fit and got minutes into his legs against Leicester, does he replace the Italian on Wednesday night?

With Everton so dominant at set-pieces, it could be that Arteta recalls Partey to the starting line-up to take advantage of the Ghana international’s height up against the likes of James Tarkowski and Conor Coady.

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