Mikel Arteta hints at possible selection change to cope with the loss of Gabriel Jesus

Jesus is thought to be out until late February or early March, leaving Arsenal with just Hale End Academy product Eddie Nketiah as their only recognized striker

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted to being open regarding the possibility of shifting Brazilian international winger Gabriel Martinelli into a central role as a short-term solution to add further depth in the 9 role on the back of Gabriel Jesus’ 2022 World Cup injury setback.

As reported by Standard Sports’ Simon Collings, the Gunners boss has declared it “impossible” to source a solution in the wake of Jesus’ impending absence after picking up a long-term injury while on international duty in Qatar with Brazil but has mentioned another avenue via Martinelli that has long been postulated as the youngsters true future at the Emirates.

“It’s a huge blow for us, obviously. [Jesus] is such an important player, he’s brought something very different to the team and it’s impossible to replace him.”

“But we have other players, other alternatives and we’ll try to get that sorted. The transfer window is another option. I think [Jesus] is a unique player but Eddie [Nketiah] has incredible qualities as well for the way we want to play.”

“We have other alternatives in that we can play Martinelli up front as well. We are currently a little bit short in terms of up-front positions but getting Emile [Smith Rowe] back is going to be a big one.”

Previous training football in past seasons had shown that Martinelli had been being put through his paces at London Colney in a manner that suggested increased central involvement which led many to speculate that Arsenal was viewing the Brazilian starlet as a long-term solution at striker but this was before Jesus was bought from Manchester City this summer.

With the return of Smith Rowe to offer added depth at left wing and the possibility that Arsenal may bring in Ukrainian international youngster Mykhailo Mudryk, Martinelli could certainly be moved centrally to offer competition and depth alongside Eddie Nketiah until Jesus’ return, and in the long-term, would present valuable depth of quality that can not only aid the club at current but also signal massive growth potential in the coming years.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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