Gabriel Jesus undergoes surgery – how will Arsenal react?

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Let’s begin with the news that Arsenal yesterday confirmed that Gabriel Jesus had surgery on his knee. A statement read:

Gabriel Jesus has successfully undergone surgery to his right knee after suffering an injury during the Brazil v Cameroon World Cup group stage match on Friday.

Gabby will now begin his rehabilitation programme. Everyone at the club is supporting Gabby and will be working hard to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.

Interestingly, there is no time-frame put on his return and details of the injury itself are vague. I suspect they have a ball-park idea of how long it will be, the three months mooted elsewhere seems to be about right, but as we know Mikel Arteta really does not like to share much in the way of injury info. Whether that’s because they think it might affect what they want to do in the market, or they just don’t want to speak it out loud so it becomes an excuse or something, I don’t know.

The Brazilian Goal have posted some more info, saying (via Google Translate): Gabriel Jesus had a meniscus injury and partial collateral ligament injury in his right knee. There was no rupture.

The implications for Arsenal are obviously pretty serious. He’s been a spinal figure in our season, for reasons that have discussed plenty of times, and it will now be fascinating to see what the club do in the January window. There’s no doubt in my mind we have to do something. Whether that’s another centre-forward, a winger, or even both – I’m not sure, but we definitely have to react to this.

As it stands, our main striker is out of action for three months, and our two main wide players are still at the World Cup with their countries. Like most of you, I’m going to be on tenterhooks every time Brazil and England play. I am keeping everything crossed for Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka to return without injury, but it’s possible they could go deeper into this tournament. The World Cup final takes place on December 18th, and let’s not forget that there’s also a third/fourth place play-off which could also see those players involved. We play West Ham on December 26th, and if those two are involved to the end in Qatar, there’s little chance they could play for us in that one.

So, it’s not inconceivable that we could face West Ham, with games against Brighton (A) and Newcastle (H) in quick succession, with a forward line of Eddie Nketiah, a fit again Emile Smith Rowe (all going well), and, I dunno, Reiss Nelson? As an Arsenal fan, it makes me root very strongly for France and Croatia in the quarter-finals, but let’s see what happens. There’s nothing we can do for the end of December anyway but muddle through with what we’ve got – when we know exactly who that is – but this break for the World Cup and these few weeks will hopefully see us act quickly in January.

You will have seen the pictures and stories about Arteta and Edu spending time in the US with Stan and Josh (and Tim Lewis). Hopefully, amid all the smiling selfies, there was serious work being done about our January plans and how we deal with the absence of one of our most important players. There are moments in a season that feel pivotal, and this is definitely that.

I’d also say that the absence of regular football combined with the obvious need for Arsenal to be active in the transfer market, is going to see an explosion of rumour and tittle-tattle. As ever, the credibility of many of these stories will be open to question, but it would also be very easy to make a decent case for interest in all kinds of players. Which is to say, keep a close eye on sources who have provided good information previously, and have be ready to take a lot of it with very hefty pinches of salt.

At the World Cup, Morocco are through after beaten Spain on penalties. I did think they could push the Spanish all the way, and their spot-kicks were … spot on. A dinky little half-Panenka to win it. Ooooof. Spain’s post-game moaning about the Moroccan approach doesn’t really wash with me. If you make over 1000 passes and don’t score a goal, that’s on you, not the opposition – which is taking nothing away from how hard Morocco worked to deny them.

As for Portugal dropping Cristiano Ronaldo then destroying Switzerland 6-1, you have to laugh. It’s almost as if they played with a freedom and energy that you can’t get from a near 40 year old egomaniac. Maybe there’s a little bit of correlation and causation going on, but it was a hell of a result – and what a hat-trick from Benfica forward Goncalo Ramos. How long before he’s linked with a move to us? We need a forward, and he does speak Portuguese after all. I give it a few hours.

It also means Granit Xhaka’s World Cup is over, let’s hope he’s not too dejected by their exit. Ok, that’s it for now. There’s a two day break from World Cup action which will have to be filled with real life and other stuff.

Best of luck everyone.

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