Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has given a positive update on Gabriel Jesus, stating that the Brazilian striker is close to returning from a long-term knee injury, which would strengthen the Gunners' bid for their first Premier League title in 19 years.
Arsenal are currently leading the table by five points ahead of Manchester City, with 13 games remaining in the season.
Jesus has been out of action since suffering the injury while playing for Brazil in the World Cup in December.
However, Arteta revealed that the player is progressing well and the doctors are confident with the way his injury is evolving.
"He's not far now. I don't want to give a timeline but he's doing certain things with the team and certain things outside the team," Arteta said.
"He's feeling better every day and the doctors are confident with the way the injury is evolving.
"We are in a good place with him, I think."
"It is true that we need to see when he's back what level he is, how we're going to fit him in and how we’re going to load him with minutes and in which games," added Arteta on whether Jesus now has to fight for his place in the side.
"Like everybody else, he'll have to earn his place but we know what Gaby can give to the team."
While Eddie Nketiah has proved to be a capable replacement for Jesus, January signing Leandro Trossard has also stepped up to the plate, alongside Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, who have been in excellent form in front of goal to help keep Arsenal on top.
Arteta acknowledged that Jesus would have to fight for his place on the side once he returns, as he would need to prove his form and fitness to earn his spot.
But the manager is confident that the Brazilian can make a significant contribution to the team's title challenge.
After briefly losing their top spot to Manchester City last month, Arsenal bounced back with three consecutive wins over Aston Villa, Leicester, and Everton to reclaim their lead.
Arteta believes that the momentum and confidence gained from these victories will be crucial for the team as they prepare to face Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.