Arteta forced to revisit eye-opening Jesus replacement plan after new injury

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Gabriel Jesus has suffered another knee injury (Image: Getty Images)
Gabriel Jesus has suffered another knee injury (Image: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta will return to the drawing board after Gabriel Jesus was ruled out for "a few weeks" with a knee injury.

Jesus missed his team's Emirates Cup triumph against Monaco on Wednesday due to the complaint, with Arteta confirming the worrying news after the game. "Unfortunately he had a little procedure this morning," he said. "He’s had some discomfort in his knee that caused him some issues, so they had to go in. He’s going to be out for a few weeks."

It's the second time Jesus has gone under the knife to fix a knee problem within the last 12 months after suffering an injury at last year's World Cup in Qatar. The Brazil international was ruled out for three months on that occasion.

Arteta has revealed Jesus' new injury is related to his previous woe. The Arsenal boss added: "It's a big blow because we had him back to his best, especially with the way he played against Barcelona, and he was in good condition, and we've lost him.

"He's been feeling some discomfort in the last few weeks. We had to look at it and we had to make a decision and the best one is to protect the player and get him back as quickly as possible, so we decided to do it."

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Arteta continued: "It's something related to the previous injury that he had and the surgery. He had some irritation in the knee and we had to get it resolved."

While Jesus is expected to make a much speedier return this time around, he will still miss Sunday's Community Shield clash against Manchester City at Wembley and Arsenal's opening Premier League game against Nottingham Forest at home on August 12.

Arteta forced to revisit eye-opening Jesus replacement plan after new injuryMikel Arteta must find a solution to Jesus' absence (Getty Images)

How much will Arsenal's miss Gabriel Jesus? Let us know in the comments below!

Jesus is also a doubt for the upcoming games against Crystal Palace, Fulham and Manchester United. That will force Arteta to rejig his team, with fellow strikers Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun pushing for a place in the starting XI.

Yet Arteta could decide against playing a conventional No.9 and deploy Leandro Trossard in that position. He did that last season during Jesus' absence and it worked a treat, with Trossard famously producing a hat-trick of assists in a 3-0 win against Fulham.

Gabriel Martinelli could also be deployed as a centre-forward and so could new signing Kai Havertz. The latter was signed from Chelsea earlier in the summer and is used to playing up front, although Arteta would prefer to play him in midfield.

Arteta revealed his willingness to think outside of the box when Jesus suffered his injury last year. He said at the time: "It’s a huge blow for us, obviously. He’s such an important player: he’s brought something very different to the team and it’s impossible to replace him.

"But we have other players, other alternatives and we’ll try to get that sorted... I think [Jesus] is a unique player but Eddie has incredible qualities as well for the way we want to play. We have other alternatives in that we can play Martinelli up front as well."

Tom Blow

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