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Mikel Arteta provides update on injured striker Gabriel Jesus

Hale End Academy graduate has deputized superbly in the absence of Jesus, but the need to have all senior players fit for the final push in the Premier League and on the continent dictates the clubs need for the Brazilian’s return

The return of Gabriel Jesus into the Arsenal fold is both a much-desired happenstance but also one that brings with it additional questions in terms of the arc of the Gunners’ season as Mikel Arteta’s men sit atop the Premier League table while looking like real title favorites.

Jesus had hit the ground running after his arrival from champions Manchester City and immediately won over the Arsenal fanbase with influential performances leading the line under Arteta that was a chief contributing factor to the club’s rapid ascent this season into a genuine title rival to Pep Guardiola’s hegemony in the blue side of Manchester.

But a serious injury suffered at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar while on international duty with A Seleçao stripped the club of the talismanic figure in the post-tournament landscape, but faith in Hale End Academy graduate Eddie Nketiah has been paid in full by the former 23-year-old England youth international, with Arsenal not missing a beat as they now sit five points ahead of City.

Still, the Gunners must return to full strength if they are to remain on course for their first league title in nearly twenty years while having a real chance at winning the Europa League as one of the true heavyweights left in the competition, with Arteta weighing in regarding Jesus’ comments that he could return to first-team duties in four or five weeks in quotes from Arsenal’s official website.

“With him, I don’t know, he wants to be in next week!” Arteta said. “That’s obviously totally unrealistic but he’s pushing and driving everybody [in the medical team] to the limit. I cannot give you an answer; hopefully, it’ll be weeks and not months but it was a serious injury and we need to respect that process as well.”

For the time being, Nketiah looks well-placed to continue deputizing for Jesus while offering a positive selection headache for Arteta once the Brazilian does return, with the London native having hit 6 goals in 6 appearances since the resumption of play after the extended international break.

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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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