It was the news that no Arsenal fans wanted to hear.
Gabriel Jesus: three months out.
At this stage, nothing has been confirmed. The striker is still in Doha with the Brazil squad and his knee will be assessed by the Gunners before a decision is made over surgery. However, it’s a very real possibility that Mikel Arteta is without his talisman for a prolonged period of time.
Jesus’ injury has the potential to scupper Arsenal’s hugely promising 2022/23 campaign, but there are a few options for Arteta in regard to dealing with the Brazilian’s absence to ensure his side remains on the right track after Christmas.
4 ways Arsenal can mitigate Gabriel Jesus’ potential prolonged absence
Here are four ways the Gunners can mitigate Jesus’ absence.
1. Trust Eddie Nketiah
Eddie Nketiah’s productive conclusion to the 2021/22 season convinced the Arsenal board to offer the striker a lucrative long-term contract and he’s since taken the most iconic shirt number associated with the club: Thierry Henry’s #14.
However, the arrival of Jesus always meant Nketiah’s minutes to shine on the big stage were going to be limited this term, and the striker’s failed to remove himself from the Brazilian’s shadow thus far.
He’s yet to score in the Premier League and after a bright start to the Europa League group stage, Nketiah’s form fell off a cliff. A tidy finish against Brighton in the EFL Cup would’ve given him some confidence heading into the break and Arteta desperately needs him to perform in Jesus’ absence.
Eddie certainly has the attributes to provide at least a semblance of what the Brazilian offered, and Jesus proved that you don’t need to be scoring regularly to have a major impact in this system.
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