Summer signing Gabriel Jesus has taken started his Arsenal career with a bang but pundit Paul Merson has claimed that Mikel Arteta needs to keep the forward fully fit if they want to finish in the top-four.
Jesus has been one of the most impactful signings for the Gunners in recent seasons and in just six Premier League games, he’s already netted three and assisted three goals.
However, Merson believes Arsenal will be in all sorts of trouble if the Brazilian picks up an injury because there’s no one to fill his shoes.
He told Sportskeeda(h/t Metro): ‘Arsenal’s top-four chances look a lot better this season. The problem is, they went 2-1 down against Manchester United and Mikel Arteta immediately made three substitutions, which looked like a knee-jerk reaction to me at the time.
‘They need to believe in themselves more and in all honesty, Arsenal didn’t play badly despite losing to Manchester United.
‘If Gabriel Jesus gets injured, they have massive problems. Eddie Nketiah is a good lad, but playing and scoring every week is a different ball game.
‘I don’t want to say too much, but Arsenal are in a good position to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and I hope they can make it count this time.’
Do Arsenal’s hopes lie on Gabriel Jesus?
Paul Merson has hit the nail on the head because Arsenal have a very small squad this season so if Jesus picks up an unexpected injury then the Gunners’ hopes of UCL football will go down the drain.
Gabriel Jesus has had more of the following than any other player in the Premier League this season:
Touches in the opposition box (66) ✅
Attempted more dribbles (34) ✅
More dribbles in the box (8) ✅
Won more fouls (21) ✅ pic.twitter.com/53rNXyJsEx
— LiveScore (@livescore) September 16, 2022
Eddie Nketiah was in good form towards the end of the previous season but there’s no way the youngster can deliver 20-25 goals in a single campaign.
Apart from being a goal-scorer, Gabriel Jesus is a leader up front and this is one thing Arsenal have been missing in recent seasons.
Mikel Arteta will have to be really clever in using the centre-forward and the manager will need to rest him at every available opportunity.
The way Gabriel Jesus is playing, he can very easily score 20 plus goals this season but with the World Cup being played in the middle of the campaign, it’s very hard to predict that the Brazilian will remain injury-free until the end of May.