Date:6th August 2023 at 3:50pm
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Arsenal were dealt a blow with Gabriel Jesus being ruled out for a ‘couple of weeks’ after undergoing a procedure on his knee. 

That has left the Gunners with Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun as their support options, with Kai Havertz able to play as a number nine if needed.

With Havertz not impressing in his stints leading the line for Chelsea, it’s likely Nketiah will get the nod to lead the line in Jesus’ absence.

It does highlight the lack of depth at Mikel Arteta’s disposal, with Nketiah still being relatively raw. The Gunners do boast Leo Trossard, but the lack of presence in the striking position without Jesus could be a huge difference-maker in a side chasing the title.

With a summer of huge spending behind them, it will be interesting to see if Arteta dips back into the market to sign an additional number nine.

Can Eddie Nketiah lead the line?

The question for Arsenal is whether Nketiah has the quality to lead the line and score double-figure goals for the Gunners.

Jesus is a flexible forward and has the ability to dribble, play with his back to goal and take suppositions in and around the box.

Nketiah on the other hand is very much a penalty box forward who comes alive when the ball arrives in the penalty area. That ultimately limits his game which isn’t ideal when taking into account the way Arteta likes to play.

Despite making just 30 appearances in the league, Nketiah only managed four league goals but did contribute to an additional five in cup competitions.

It doesn’t seem enough as a backup forward or even a striker coming off the bench. Whilst Arteta’s endeavour to play the academy graduate is admirable, it’s hard to see Nketiah thriving in Jesus’ absence.

It’s likely that Folarin Balogun will stay as well to provide additional competition in the striking department with it being a straight shoot-out between the pair for the starting berth.


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