Danny Murphy thinks it’s disrespectful to suggest Arsenal will crumble during Gabriel Jesus’ absence through injury.
Arsenal will have to play at least the next month or two without Gabriel Jesus, following the Brazilian’s injury at the World Cup.
The Gunners appear to be in a title race, sitting five points clear of Manchester City ahead of the competitive football restart. But many are worried about the impact of losing the team’s star striker.
After all, Arsenal’s upturn in form seemed to come largely from Jesus’ introduction. Even when he stopped scoring, the Gunners appeared to be playing better football with him in the side.
Yet Danny Murphy thinks it’s unfair to suggest Arsenal will fall apart without the Brazilian.
“A lot has been made of the knee injury Gabriel Jesus suffered with Brazil, that might keep him out for a month, but I don’t think the Gunners will crumble, as some suggest,” Murphy said.
“Jesus has been important in Arsenal’s great run: he’s unselfish; works hard off the ball and sets the tone for the press. But he hasn’t scored in his last 11 games so I don’t think Arsenal should be fearful of playing without him.
“Eddie Nketiah is a fox in the box and can finish. Arsenal’s next three games against West Ham, Brighton, and Newcastle are all winnable without Jesus.
“It’s disrespectful to Arteta, as well as stars such as Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, and the other Arsenal players, to suggest one injury setback will make it a stroll.”
At the very least, it’s fair to say we still don’t know how this current Arsenal side will perform without Jesus.
The former Manchester City striker has started all 14 Premier League games, so we haven’t had a single opportunity to see how Eddie Nketiah fits in the Premier League lineup. Nketiah has had to settle for minutes in the rotation side so far.
Despite some criticism for Nketiah for hitting the post and having two goals dubiously ruled out against Juventus, the striker scored twice over the mid-season break, so his goal threat has certainly been on show.
We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that Danny Murphy will turn out to be right and there won’t be anything to worry about.