Earlier this week, Arsenal confirmed that our CF Gabriel Jesus has undergone surgery on his right knee. The news from the Brazilian Camp is that he suffered a meniscus and partial collateral ligament injury and is rumoured to be out for three months. Our striker picked up the injury in Brazil’s 1-0 defeat to Cameroon in the World Cup, where he was quickly ruled out for the rest of the competition and returned to London for specialist consultation. As of right now, Eddie Nketiah is our only striker and is currently in Dubai competing in the Super Cup, where he secured a goal and assist against Lyon. This leaves the question, what will Arsenal do?
Working with what we have, our first game back is West Ham on Boxing Day at home. This will be before the transfer window opens, and with our CF out and both our first choice wingers still away at the World Cup, it currently that seems that our front three will be entirely different; Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson on the wing, and Eddie Nketiah as CF. Brighton away follows, which is always a tough fixture, especially with Brighton’s amazing run of form this season. In my opinion, we can expect Martinelli, Saka, and Eddie as our front three. Eddie has already proven himself dependable as he kept us in the top four fight until the very end last season, and will have had time in training with Gabriel Jesus to learn from, and Smith Rowe has flow out to Dubai with the squad and hopefully will get some time out there.
Another possibility is to recall Balogun from his loan in Ligue 1 with Reims. However, he is clearly benefitting from this loan as he has been taking Ligue 1 by storm, with 8 goals in 15 appearances, so I think Arteta and Edu would be hesitant to do this.
There are options to sign on loan or long term. This upcoming window we are expected to sign Mudryk, who said in an interview with Zinchenko’s wife that he hopes to sign for Arsenal. He will help with the build up of play, as he has 18 G/A already this season in 18 competitive matches, including in the Champions League, which proves he can compete at the highest level. Shakhtar Donetsk have now lowered their price from €90 million to €40 million. PSV star Cody Gakpo has also been linked to Arsenal for quite some time now, and has really broken out at the World Cup for the Netherlands. Gakpo has 18 goals and 18 assists from 33 competitive appearances this season. Despite hoping to hold out until the summer, PSV are likely to allow him to leave the club if an offer in the region of £40 million comes in.
I have also heard calls from people to sign Ronaldo on a free transfer, and personally, I am totally against this idea. In both the Premier League and the World Cup, when he has been sidelined, his team have played better. Ronaldo coming in would disrupt the squad harmony which we’re seeing at the moment and could disrupt the progress Arteta has made which has recently come in to fruition. Ronaldo has made it clear he wants to be playing 90 minutes of football, which I don’t see as sustainable long term at Arsenal.
Thinking long term, there will be strikers coming up through the academy in the coming years. With Gabriel Jesus out, some may be thinking this will be their opportunity to prove themselves on the big stage, especially if we stick with Eddie as he doesn’t seem like he could play more than once a week, and with the Europa League and FA Cup competitions still going for us, it seems as though one of them could get a chance.
Written by: Abby Goodson @_abbygoodson