Granit Xhaka backs Nketiah to replace Jesus – “No different option”

The Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka was cruelly knocked out of the World Cup last night by Portugal, and he will now fly off to join his Arsenal team-mates at the Dubai training camp, but one player who will not be training with Mikel Arteta’s squad is our Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus, who is now in hospital after an operation on his knee for an injury sustained in Qatar.

Granit admitted that he had spoken to Jesus just after the game he was injured in: “I spoke with him straight after the Cameroon game,” he told the Standard.

“We have the contact between each other, with all the players we have here in the World Cup.

“It’s a shame because you saw in the first round of the Premier League how important he is for us. I don’t know how big the injury is, maybe two or three months, I think.

“But he is a strong guy. It’s a small injury for him I think, and we will support him. He knows that we are behind him and hopefully we can get him back as quick as possible.”

Granit was then asked if he thought Arsenal could cope without their star striker while he was on the sidelines, and he replied: “We have to. We have no different option,”

“We have the option with Eddie, of course. He showed great games as well in the past and we need to support Gabi first.

“We need to support Eddie as well, because he will be a big, big part of the next two or three months. But I am looking forward because we have the quality to bring Eddie there and to help him.”

Granit is our best example of what can be achieved with grit and determination, and depite Arsenal fans misgivings over relying on Nketiah in Jesus’ absence, there is a reason why Mikel Arteta persuaded him to sign a contract extension.

It is now Eddie’s time to stand up and be counted, so let’s get behind him and continue our winning ways, whoever is on the pitch…


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  1. There is a different option ,his name is Martinelli ,but for me he’s been our best player this season on that left side so I’m not sure Arteta will be wanting to change that .
    If Jesus is out for 2-3 months then it’s either he trusts Eddie or we dip into the January sales .

  2. What did anyone expect Xhaka to say? Throw Nketiah under the bus? Admit we need to bring in a quality striker?

    Who truly has confidence that Nketiah can fill in for 2 or 3 months and help Arsenal stay top of the table?

    It’s not about trashing Nketiah, it’s about admitting and obvious weakness in the squad.

    1. Durand, Halleluhah for some proper context! JA loves to constantly report any old nonsense ever spoken by anyone even remotely Arsenal connected( as well as those who have NO connection whatsoever).
      And JA has zero interest in giving any context, as JA regards context as its enemy, IMO.
      OF COURSE you are right to say that Xhaka could hardly say anything else, and has to publicly back his team mate. No argument that he said the only thing he COULD say.

      But only an idiot thinks for even a moment that Xhaka believes what he said is true. Of course he does not!

      ALL our players and MA and EDU are well aware that we HAVE to get a proper replacement in.

      That is WHY they went to New York to plead with Kroenke for REAL funds. Just for once, it would be so cathartic to actually read an article from a JA inhouse writer with at least SOME context.

      But I will not be holding my breath, knowing how much they FEAR context, as it is the antidote to hype and nonsense!!

  3. Oh well what a revealing news. Look out Granit Xhaka, Dan Smith might come for your head for backing up EN despite not having 50 goals in 100 appearances.
    Someone would think this is a season that we’ve been weak and dependent on one or two players, it’s otherwise. In a season when all the attacking players are contributing when the whistle goes off and we’ve been performing as a team, people think it’ll take an Injury to Jesus alone to detail our season.
    You guys should be lucky and relieved Jesus is the only one, and Partey or Saliba ain’t injured.
    Like we don’t have enough attack up front to boost up EN performance on the pitch. Like this isnt the best team we’ve had in thr Emirates era from the GK to the attack.
    I have no issue with EN being given the chance.
    Screaming and shouting Arsenal will struggle without Jesus is disrespect to what the likes of Saka, Gabi, Ødegaard, Xhaka in fact it will be disrespect to what the entire team has done so far this season.
    If we’ll get a striker, then good. We need one, but I hope Martinelli isn’t moved to the number 9 position.
    Jesus missing out already changes the dynamic and focal point of attack. Imagine doubling that change by dragging Nelli as 9 and hoping Nelson replicates what Nelli does at the LW. No no no

  4. Whether or not Eddie is good enough, he can’t play every game for 3 months.
    We could really use a player who is comfortable on the wing and at CF to ensure we can keep three cf options happy in the squad once GJ returns. I don’t know if martinelli can play there or not – he didn’t do too well there last time, and it’s my impression that he’s focused on the wing position these days.
    In retrospect, richarlison would have been ideal – i didn’t want him last summer but I was wrong there

  5. One man’s poison could become another man’s food to eat? So therefore, Gabriel Jesus sidelined with injury for a spell of months should serve as a huge opportunity to be seized. And makes the most of it to count heavily for the Gunners in the centreforward position by Eddie Nkethia. Who is expected to step in to the CF position for Arsenal during the period that Gabby is absent for team.
    Needless to say if Nkethia excel in CF position for Arsenal during when Gabby is unavailable. He could make the CF position his own till when something happens that makes him unavailable.
    Yes Gabriel Martinelli could be reassigned to mann the CF position. But bench Nkethia? That’s assuming that ESR has recovered to play at the rightwing position. But if Arteta does this, how productive will it be in terms of high goals scoring? Especially by Martinelli whose goals scoring in the Epl so far this season is average.
    But thank God! As arsenal has proved not a team that heavily relied on an individual player for regular goals scoring in the Epl this season. But is a general purpose goals scoring all players team by which any Gunners in the team can score and they’ve all been scoring and have scored this season in the Epl.
    But notwithstanding and nevertheless. Arsenal should not take chances to rely on Nkethia and Martinell solely, the duo forwards for high number of goals scoring to win matches in the Epl after the break for the WC and the League has resumed.
    But will do a lot better if they sign a new top rated class striker at the onset of the next January window to serve as a guarantee against any occurrence of mishaps happening to the team as their campaigns in the Epl, FA Cup and Europa League pans on.

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