Arsenal could be without striker Gabriel Jesus when the Premier League restarts after reports suggested that the Brazilian’s injury was worse than first thought.
Jesus injured his knee in Brazil’s final Group G World Cup match against Cameroon, as did left-back Alex Telles. The pair had scans on Saturday morning to assess the damage, and both were ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup.
The CBF, as reported by ESPN, said in a statement: “Players Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus underwent tests Saturday morning accompanied by team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar and a MRI on their right knees confirmed the extent of the injuries and the impossibility of recovery in time to participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
Jesus Out of Premier League Restart
Gabriel Jesus will miss the rest of the World Cup, sources close to player and Brazil confirm. He has pain in his knee and won’t be able to be back during the competition. 🚨🇧🇷 #Qatar2022
Gabriel’s expected to return in January with Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/TSZxO9X4dY
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 3, 2022
Blow for Arsenal and Brazil
However, news broke that Jesus’ injury might keep him out for longer than initially expected.
Brazilian news outlet Globo initially reported that Jesus would be out for up to a month. He would miss the rest of the World Cup, but there was hope that he would be back in time for the resumption of the Premier League campaign in December.
But according to Sport TV, and as reported by The Daily Mail, Jesus’ injury could rule him out for up to three months.
The news is a major blow to Arsenal’s title hopes, with the Brazilian being a key figure for Mikel Arteta’s side this season.
The striker has scored five league goals this season and has started all 14 Premier League games for Arsenal.
Opportunity for Eddie Nketiah to Shine
After signing Jesus in the summer for a reported £45 million from rivals Manchester City, Arsenal have been transformed into Premier League title contenders.
The north London side are currently top of the Premier League, with five points separating them and City in second place.
Losing a player as important as Jesus will concern both Arteta and Arsenal fans, but it does offer Eddie Nketiah an opportunity to be the side’s talisman.
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Although the 23-year-old finished last season strongly and signed a new contract in the summer, Jesus’ arrival has meant that Nketiah has not started a Premier League match this season. But with Jesus now out injured and with there being no other recognised striker at the club, Nketiah is in line to start against West Ham United when the Premier League resumes on Boxing Day.
If Arsenal are to mitigate the impact of Jesus’ injury and keep City behind them, they will need Nketiah to step up in his place.