Mikel Arteta confirms Arsenal ‘alternatives’ after huge blow

Mikel Arteta has been speaking about Arsenal’s plan to cope with Gabriel Jesus’ injury setback.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he has a plan amid the absence of Gabriel Jesus. Jesus has been ruled out for at least two months with a knee injury, requiring surgery following his World Cup participation with Brazil. According to Brazil boss Tite, Jesus already had the injury, but it worsened during the World Cup to the point where surgery was the best option.

Arsenal must now find a replacement for their lead striker, and they may call upon the January transfer window to help them along, but there are games to play before then, and the Gunners may be resistant to spending a big fee on a striker in the summer given they spent £50million on Jesus, and indeed given the fact the Brazilian will be back safely before the end of the season. So, it’s a good job Arteta has a plan to cover for Jesus, with back-up frontman Eddie Nketiah and winger Gabriel Martinelli available for use.

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“I think [Jesus] is a unique player but Eddie [Nketiah] has incredible qualities as well for the way we want to play,” Arteta told the club website. “We have other alternatives in that we can play Martinelli up front as well. We are currently a little bit short in terms of upfront positions but getting Emile [Smith Rowe] back is going to be a big one.”

Arsenal finally return to action on Boxing Day when they face London rivals West Ham. Speaking about the clash, Arteta added: “It’s a very special day. Boxing Day is one of the most beautiful days in English football. It’s such a family and historic day to play football, and we are really keen to play again.

“I know David [Moyes] very well because I worked with him for seven years. I’m sure that he has worked the team hard and has put big demands on them. They’ve been terrific since he joined the club and I always think it’s a really difficult match-up.”

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