Paul Merson has claimed that Arsenal could miss out on finishing in the Champions League places if Gabriel Jesus was to miss three months of action.
The Gunners are all set to return to action on Boxing Day when they play host to West Ham United, but will do so without four first-team players. Reiss Nelson had to be replaced during our friendly with Juventus, while Emile Smith Rowe is still to prove he is back to 100%. We remain with William Saliba after his side reached the final of the World Cup, while the biggest blow comes in the shape of Jesus.
The Brazilian picked up an injury whilst on international duty, and as yet has no timeline on when he is set to return. Merson claims that he fears for our side in his absence, with Eddie Nketiah set to start in his place for the foreseeable, and goes as far as to claim we could plummet so far down that even our top-four spot could be at risk.
“I try not to read too much into friendlies but it’s a massive worry for Arsenal that they’re now relying on out-of-form Eddie Nketiah when the Premier League returns, Merson stated in his column for the DailyStar.
“They could go eight points clear if they beat West Ham before Manchester City play a game and you still wouldn’t fancy them to win the title without Gabriel Jesus.
“It’s hard because even though he doesn’t score an awful lot of goals, he is still so effective. If he’s out for three months, I’d be shocked if they got in the top four. I just don’t see where the goals come from, I might be wrong.
“I don’t really see Gabriel Martinelli being a solution through the middle, he’s not a proven centre-forward. Without being horrible, what Premier League team does Eddie Nketiah get in?”
I think that our former forward is slightly exaggerating on Nketiah to be fair, but it must be said that he would be lacking a little confidence with his last competitive goal having come in early November. If the club really believed that Jesus was to be missing for as much as three months however, I believe we would be eyeing a replacement, which I do not think is the case at present.
Can you really see us dropping out of the top-four this term?
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Reiss Nelson’s sad interview before his heart-breaking injury.
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