The transfer intentions of Arsenal technical director Edu can be revealed by TEAMtalk as the Gunners come to terms with the injury absence of summer signing Gabriel Jesus.
The Brazilian star has been in excellent form for Mikel Arteta’s side since his £45m move from Man City over the summer. Indeed, he has five goals and five assists in 14 games for the top-of-the-table Gunners.
However, the injury he suffered playing the Brazil last week saw the player sustain a knee injury. And Arsenal’s worst fears were realised after scans revealed he needs minor surgery to repair the damage which will sideline him for up to three months.
That leaves Arsenal with a big hole to fill and with only Eddie Nketiah as a fit senior central striker.
How they go about filling that gap has seen speculation rise that a new signing may be made in the January window.
And while we revealed Arsenal will have funds to spend in January, we can reveal they will not alter their plans in the wake of Jesus’ injury.
And with Arteta setting his sights on a new midfielder and a winger, Arsenal will not deviate from that plan.
Discussing their January intentions, TEAMtalk’s transfer expert Graeme Bailey provided the details.
“Losing Gabriel Jesus is a huge blow for Arsenal, that is clear – but it remains to be seen how much of an impact, if any, it will have on their plans for January,” he said.
Gabriel Jesus return timeline for Arsenal
Revealing that Jesus may even return ahead of the scheduled three month lay-off, Bailey added: “I am told that Arsenal still hold out some hope that Jesus’ rehab will go well and that he could return by the end of February…. That is not certain yet, but there is some hope at this stage!
“Arsenal’s plans for the New Year have already been decided. And Arteta fabcies at least one midfielder and also a forward – primarily a wide man.
“And whilst yes they only have Eddie Nketiah as a straight central striking option, they also have other possibilities. I believe they have considered whether to bring Flo Balogun back from his loan at Reims. But the indications are they would rather leave him to finish the campaign in Ligue 1.”
Bailey claims Arsenal believe they can cover for Jesus’ injury with the players they already have at their disposal.
And that could see one of two players switch to a false No 9 position over the short term.
“Within the club they believe they do have options with the most obvious being Gabriel Martinelli [who can play through the middle].
“But there is also Reiss Nelson and Marquinhos. They also have other options, one of which is the possibility of playing a false nine. Fabio Vieira or Martin Odegaard are candidates to play in that role.
“One thing that is for sure, is that they will make sure if they do bring someone in, it will be a fit to their system and structure.”