Mikel Arteta has saluted Leandro Trossard’s “football intelligence” after he claimed a hat-trick of assists in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Fulham and said Gabriel Jesus must earn his starting spot following his long-awaited return from injury.
Trossard produced a player-of-the-match performance at Craven Cottage, setting up Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard’s goals as Arsenal re-established a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
The game also featured a return for Jesus, who appeared as a late substitute to make his first Arsenal appearance since November following his recovery from a knee injury, but the Brazilian has returned to intense competition for places.
Trossard played as false nine against Fulham and his starring performance was even more impressive given he was forced off injured in the 3-2 win over Bournemouth only a week ago.
Asked about Trossard’s display in his press conference, Arteta said: “When we talk about composure and finding the right colour when it’s looking really blurry in the box and many players rush passes, he’s the opposite
“He got three assists and could have scored two. I think he was really impressive.
“Not only that, he had an injury three days ago which could have taken a week, or another 10 days, but he was really willing to come back early and the doctors and medical staff did a lot of good work to get that.