Premier League • England

Mikel Arteta reveals crushing blow for Arsenal on the eve of the new season

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, May 2023

Mikel Arteta has revealed that star striker Gabriel Jesus will miss the start of the new Premier League season after suffering a knee injury.

The Brazilian was forced to skip the Emirates Cup clash against Monaco on Wednesday, with the news confirmed by the club and the knee problem will now be ‘assessed’ by the Gunners’ medical team.

The news will come as a significant blow to Arsenal, especially after Jesus had a lengthy spell on the sidelines last season due to a knee injury he picked up at the World Cup.

The former Manchester City frontman has been in good form during pre-season, having notched 11 times in 33 games for Arsenal last season as they were pipped to the Premier League title by Manchester City.

But speaking after the Monaco clash, Arteta said: “Unfortunately he had a little procedure this morning. He’s had some discomfort in his knee that caused him some issues so they had to go in. He’s going to be out for a few weeks.”

Jesus‘ absence against Monaco provided another opportunity for Eddie Nketiah to start in attack, having covered for Jesus last season. And the England Under-21 star was on target in the 1-1 draw before the Gunners won a penalty shootout.

The 24-year-old was also given the captain’s armband by Arteta and is now expected to lead the line when the new campaign gets underway.

Arsenal can also utilise summer signing Kai Havertz in a forward role, but Arteta wants to use the German as part of a midfield three this term.

Folarin Balogun is another option having impressed on loan at Reins last season but he continues to be strongly linked with a summer exit.

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