Arsenal have been rocked by the news that striker Gabriel Jesus could miss up to three months through an injury picked up on World Cup duty with Brazil.
The striker, who joined the club from Manchester City in the summer and has helped his side to top of the Premier League at the break for the World Cup, was forced off during the Selecao’s final group game after the hour mark, after reports that he was feeling pain in his knee.
And, while initial reports suggested that he could be sidelined for a month, subsequent claims are that he could miss as much as three months of action should he require surgery.
It leaves the Gunners scrambling for solutions, with Eddie Nketiah the natural backup but unable to play every single game between Boxing Day and March.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has already hinted at one possible solution, however, in the form of England talent Emile Smith Rowe.
The Spaniard was asked about the forward’s best position during a period of good form last season, and reveals that he sees him as a potential future option at no.9.
“I think he can play in four positions”, Arteta began.
“As a left winger, a left attacking midfielder, a right attacking midfielder and he can play as a nine, very, very well.”
Now returned from groin injury, he could be an option to lead the line, and has indeed already done so under Arteta, playing as a false nine in the Europa League semi-final defeat to Villarreal in 2020/21.
The Gunners are expected to be active in the January window, but as it stands it is thought that they are keen to add a winger and central midfielder rather than a striker, which could open the door to trial Smith-Rowe at no.9 once again.