EPL

Rodgers salutes 'game changers' Jesus and Zinchenko ahead of Arsenal clash

By Sports Desk February 23, 2023

Brendan Rodgers saluted "game changers" Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko ahead of Leicester City's Premier League clash with leaders Arsenal.

The Gunners are two points clear at the summit with a game in hand on second-place Manchester City heading into their final 15 matches of the campaign.

Their quest for a first domestic title in 19 years has been boosted by the performances of former Man City duo Jesus and Zinchenko, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium in pre-season.

Jesus scored twice and provided two assists in Arsenal's 4-2 win over Leicester in August, though the Brazil international will miss the return fixture at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

Meanwhile, the versatile Zinchenko has played 20 times under Mikel Arteta this term, and Rodgers praised the impact of both players.

"I think [Arsenal have] had a fantastic season up until now," the Foxes head coach said. "I think that you sensed right at the very beginning of the season when we played [them], they'd signed the two players that were a game changer for them in terms of mentality.

"When you've got the likes of Kieran Tierney on the bench – who's an outstanding player – because of Zinchenko playing, then it really shows you the quality of the squad that they have.

"But I think Zinchenko and Jesus coming in really will have helped, and given [them] that mindset. [William] Saliba coming in at the back and obviously the other players then improve, and so I think that they played very well on that day.

"Whenever we got close to them, we made mistakes, which gave them a cushion in the game. But you could see in that early part of the season that there was a good feeling around the place and that's continued through the season.

"I think Mikel [Arteta] has done a fantastic job with them, and, okay, still a long way to go – 15 games to go – but they've had a very, very good season so far."

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