Mikel Arteta hints at how Arsenal will replace Gabriel Jesus during injury after responding to January transfer probe
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has provided some insight into how the club might respond to the injury suffered by Gabriel Jesus.
Jesus recently saw his World Cup involvement with Brazil end due to injury. He suffered a blow to his knee during their final match of the group stage and can play no part in the knockout stage.
The problem will require surgery and reports have estimated an absence of three months for the Arsenal striker.
It means Jesus will miss the busy winter schedule for Arsenal once the Premier League returns. Obviously, it is a blow to their hopes of staying top of the table.
There is, of course, a chance to address the issue in the January transfer window. Whether or not they will use that to their advantage has not yet been clear.
Now, though, Arteta has given his verdict on what Arsenal might look like without Jesus.
Speaking after a friendly win against Lyon, Arteta was unable to provide a return date for his summer signing.
He replied: “No. Obviously we know that, he needed some intervention in the knee, and we will have to take (it) day by day, week by week and see, where it takes us.”
Jesus has started all 14 of Arsenal’s matches in the Premier League this season. Although he was on a goal drought dating back to the start of October, his importance to Arteta’s side has still been apparent.
Therefore, he will leave a void in the lineup while he is unavailable. Arsenal have a couple of ways to fill it; either they can put their faith in Eddie Nketiah, move Gabriel Martinelli to a more central position, or sign a reinforcement in January.
Asked about the chances of the latter happening, Arteta responded: “Where it affects us is who we are as a team, because he gives us so much.
“So what we can do after that, when we know a little bit the timescale and when we can have him back, we will look at the options, and try to make the right decision.”
Arsenal aiming to keep up momentum without Gabriel Jesus
It has been a season to remember so far for Arsenal, but they are not even halfway there. To fight for honours they will need to maintain their momentum – without one of their most important players for a bit.
Pressed on whether his squad can still aim for the Premier League title without their number nine, Arteta said: “We have players, we have a lot of accompanying players.
“It’s do we have the players that can give us the performances and the consistency we need to be and maintain and improve from where we are?”
TEAMtalk understands Arteta might want to sign an attacker in January, but that might be a winger rather than a Jesus replacement.
Our transfer insider, Graeme Bailey, has told us: “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.
“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 fancies 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.”
It will be an interesting couple of months ahead for Arsenal as they look to give themselves the best chance possible of building from the foundations they have laid in the first part of the season.
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