Frank McAvennie is of the opinion that Arsenal have not missed injured striker Gabriel Jesus at all, backing Eddie Nketiah to continue even when the Brazilian returns.
THE LOWDOWN: UNFORTUNATE TIME OUT
Jesus was at the World Cup in Qatar when he picked up a nasty knee injury and needed surgery to get things back in shape. He has been missing since then and he is not expected to back until March.
However, Eddie Nketiah, who had no start in the Premier League prior to Jesus’ injury, has been saddled with the side’s goalscoring responsibilities and he has done pretty well during the time.
The Englishman has scored six goals since club football resumed after the World Cup and he is now being backed to keep playing even when Jesus returns to full fitness.
THE LATEST: PUNDIT’S POSITION
Former West Ham man Frank McAvennie believes Nketiah has earned his place on the team and should remain the club’s striker.
“I do not think they have missed him(Jesus), he told Football Insider.
“Nketiah is scoring goals and you can see Arteta was able to bring that out of him.
“Jesus coming back is competition now. Arsenal changed as soon as him and [Oleksandr] Zinchenko came from Man City. Two winners walked into that dressing room and just changed the direction of everyone in there.”
THE VERDICT: RIGHT THING TO DO
Jesus has been a superb signing for the Gunners and he is one step ahead of Nketiah in terms of trust and capacity to deliver.
However, he will need some time to get back into shape and help Arsenal finish the season strongly. It is simply wise for Arteta to stick with the youngster until the Brazilian is fully fit to start games.