Former Arsenal player Ian Wright has said Gabriel Jesus’ return can spark an upturn in form in team-mate Gabriel Martinelli.
Jesus has not played for Arsenal in 2023 since suffering a knee injury during Brazil’s World Cup campaign in Qatar.
The former Manchester City star is closing in on a return from the treatment room, having been seen in training this week as he continues his rehabilitation.
Wright says Jesus’ return will be a major boost to title-chasing Arsenal and says it can help Martinelli find his best form.
Martinelli went eight matches without a goal in January and most of February but scored in Arsenal’s wins over Aston Villa and Leicester City.
Despite Martinelli’s contributions, Wright believes the Brazilian star has suffered without Jesus and says the ‘whole left-hand side’ of Arsenal’s team ‘has not been working’.
‘Arsenal are straining every sinew right now to stay in front [of Manchester City],’ Wright said on Premier League Productions.
‘Yes, we have Jesus coming back which will then hopefully fire up Martinelli even more because our left-hand side has missed Jesus.
‘Jesus would interchange with Martinelli, and he would get inside and we would get a little bit more going on our left side.
‘That has been a bit redundant even though Martinelli has scored some goals, he’s had to come off the bench to do that. It feels like a whole side of Arsenal is not working.
‘And once that comes back maybe we could start scoring more goals again and getting those goals and chances that we need to score, just to give us a bit more breathing space in the game because I don’t think from now on in Man City are going to relent.’
Arsenal can move five points clear of Manchester City when they welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.