Paul Merson worries about Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes without Gabriel Jesus

“Even the wolves won’t go and get him!” Arsenal could struggle to finish in the top four, let alone win the Premier League title, says Paul Merson, if Eddie Nketiah replaces the injured Gabriel Jesus…as Mikel Arteta hints in January.

Paul Merson fears for Arsenal’s Premier League title prospects if they have to rely on Eddie Nketiah while Gabriel Jesus is out through injury.

While Mikel Arteta’s side could move eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table if they beat West Ham on Boxing Day, Merson believes they will struggle to make it into the top four without properly replacing the Brazilian.

Jesus injured his knee during the World Cup and is expected to be sidelined for three months, with Arteta admitting this week that the club should be ‘active’ in the January window.

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus posted this snap on Instagram of him on crutches in London after suffering a knee injury that required surgery playing for Brazil at the World Cup.

Arsenal lead by five points after enjoying an excellent start to the season

Arsenal lead by five points after enjoying an excellent start to the season

But the injury suffered by Gabriel Jesus during the World Cup threatens to derail his title bid

But the injury suffered by Gabriel Jesus during the World Cup threatens to derail his title bid

Arsenal are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk, who is over 21 years old, with Mykhailo Modric, but the Ukrainian club are reluctant to sell.

Meanwhile, Nketiah, who has scored 26 goals in 111 appearances for Arsenal, is their only recognized option at centre-forward.

But Merson believes that even bottom club Wolverhampton will not play Nketiah.

“It is a huge concern for Arsenal that they are now counting on Eddie Nketiah when the Premier League returns,” he wrote in the Daily Star.

They could go eight points clear if they beat West Ham before Manchester City play a game and you still wouldn’t imagine them winning the title without Gabriel Jesus.

Eddie Nketiah is the only recognized centre-forward at Arsenal in the absence of Jesus

Eddie Nketiah is the only recognized centre-forward at Arsenal in the absence of Jesus

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hinted that the club will try to buy a new striker in January

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hinted that the club will try to buy a new striker in January

“It’s difficult because even though he hasn’t scored a lot of goals, he’s still very effective. If he’s out for three months, I’d be shocked if they got into the top four.

Paul Merson suggested even bottom club Wolverhampton would reject Nketiah

Paul Merson suggested even bottom club Wolverhampton would reject Nketiah

Without being awful, what Premier League team is Eddie Nketiah in? Wolves are at the bottom for example, they desperately need a goal and they won’t be able to reach it.

Merson added, “Jesus has been very influential in the first few months of the season, and I don’t see how they manage without him.

With Arsenal their depth is not good enough but their best players have played almost every game. Now all of a sudden, it’s panic.

Jesus signed from Manchester City over the summer and has scored five goals and set up another seven in all competitions so far.

The Brazilian striker posted a photo on Instagram of him walking on crutches after returning to London, with the caption: “Progress”.

Arsenal return to action against West Ham on Boxing Day before traveling to Brighton on New Year’s Eve and hosting Newcastle United on January 3.


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