Gabriel Jesus out for a while: the internal options for replacement

Gabriel Jesus is out for a while, and the fact that the club has not given an indication of how long it is likely to take for him to return to the team does not bode well. With the January TW only a few weeks away, I can fully understand why the club have not made public how long it is going to take; it would undermine their negotiation position quite a bit. I always felt we would get an additional attacker in the coming TW anyway, but now there is even more need for it. We need more strength in depth and an experienced winger/CF is required imho.

But it all remains to be seen whether the excellent Edu and Arteta will be able to get what they want mid-term. So this post is about how the club can fill the huge gap GJ9 will leave behind during his absence (however long that will turn out to be).

Key is to find a replacement internally that will allow Arteta to keep playing the same sort of football and tactics. PB’s excellent previous post describes in detail what the man with the best-ever emoji-face has to offer. In my own words: Gabriel Jesus is a whirlwind of an attacker who creates chaos and restlessness in defences; he has that rare ability to dribble in very tight spaces and penetrate the box on a regular basis; he is very fit and mobile and just never stops; he sets the tempo in attack and is an example for the other attackers, and; he is a winner.

The real question is, do we have a player with the same qualities and characteristics?

Eddie: will do his best to fit the shoe but is a different type of CF with different qualities. I don’t think he will be the like for like replacement.

Balogun: I would leave him in beautiful Reims till the end of the season. I have not seen enough in action of him but I don’t think we should ask him to fill the speedy Brazilian’s shoes yet.

ESR: as a false-9 there is potential to do the job but the required dynamism and fitness would be a concern. A good dribbler and taker of chances he is for sure, but we are looking at another whirlwind of a CF and I don’t think that’s Emile’s strength.

Martinelli: well, I think GJ9 adopted younger brother could be the almost perfect match. He, just like Jesus, just never stops and is a total pain to any defence. He has that all important dribbling into the box ability and would relish to play more centrally. The gap he would leave behind on our attacking left could be filled by a fit ESR or Nelson, or even Vieira.

Saka: another strong option imo. Bukayo is ahead of Martinelli in his development and I think he could play the GJ9 role as well as anybody in the team. The problem is that Bukayo would leave an even bigger gap on our right than Martinelli would leave on our left in attack. Nelson or Marquinos are options, and so is the new Vieira, but they all would struggle to offer what Saka does on the right on a constant basis. Yet I believe that Saka would relish the opportunity and would be a fearsome CF in Arteta’s system.

All in all, I reckon we will buy a new attacker anyway to improve our strength in depth. But if Arsenal fail to do so – and there is absolutely no point in just buying somebody who Edu/Arteta are not totally sure about – Martinelli seems to me the best option all together, both for the CF position as well as the wider balance of the team.

By TotalArsenal.

10 thoughts on “Gabriel Jesus out for a while: the internal options for replacement

  • I’m not sure that we will or should buy another forward unless we can get someone who is clearly better than the options we have available. Getting a player like that in the January window is unlikely. TA outlines the options well and we should probably let Folarin see out his spell in France which means that the others will get their chance to shine. It could be that we play with a fluid frontline with players switching positions through a game giving defenders plenty to think about. The good news is that we haven’t been reliant on GJ9 for goals.

    PB, thanks for your piece on GJ9 which was really well thought through and presented.

    LeG, the best coffee I ever tasted was in Rouen. That was 45 years ago and I can still recall it vividly!

  • Great run through the options T. I’m absolutely excited to see Eddie get a run of 90 minute games with the full first team. He proved himself with a run at the end of last season. I heard that he looked really good in his overall effort yesterday.
    His work rate is now much higher than in the past and I see he’s keen to prove that first. He watches Jesus and knows what Mikel is looking for. Arteta knows that goals will come. That’s why he sanctioned the contract last summer.

    Aside from that, Balogun recalled for emergencies and to rest Eddie in the FA cup is ok.

    My first choice, though, because we need wide forward depth anyway, is to buy a winger who can also play at CF, like Ferran Torres. I predict that’s what we’re going to do. Premier league and Arteta experience being the biggest bonus.

  • It’s a conundrum Total because we don’t want to sign someone on big wages who we can’t move on, we’ve done that before, it’s not worked so move on…

    Favourite for me would b3signing someone on loan, as was the case with Odegaard, just to give Eddie some back-up.

    Balogun is an option but ideally you’d want to leave him in France, but if needs must?

    I reckon Arsenal will focus on the targets we had earmarked and make do with what we have because we aren’t going to find another Jesus anyway and most alternatives are a waste of funds.

  • I sincerely hope that Arteta will not repeat Wenger’s mistake (to force Lacazette and Aubameyang in the same team) by signing Vlahovic. Who is a fine player and would help out the team for 2-3 months, but as long as we won’t switch to 4-4-2 will inevitably destroy the team when Jesus returns from injury.

    I understand that it does sound frightening, but teams just don’t buy new players after mid-term injuries. Which makes Eddie the only smart choice in Jesus’ absence. It caused massive panic in a Hungarian FB-group of Arsenal supporters, but my people are not particularly bright when it comes to football or politics.

    Nketiah is a risky bet, but – unless we get Haaland on loan for free – everybody is, and Eddie happens to be among the least risky ones. He scored against Watford and Lyon recently (and the latter goal was quite elegant), even though he didn’t play the entirety of either games. So he will be tested against Milan and Juventus. I’m not sure he will score, but our B team is in form, and the Italian teams also lost their best guys to the World Cup, therefore I expect victories with many goals, so my money is on Nketiah. And if you think about it it is only fair this way. Arteta needs to know if Eddie is good enough to step up – even if TA is perfectly right about him being a different type of striker – and he deserve the chance of playing a handful of games and not be assessed mainly about the last 6-8 minutes of games against Leeds or Leicester.

    I’m not saying that our performance will surely not suffer. It might, even though Eddie’s goal statistics are simply superior to Jesus’. But our display will deteriorate anyway – after all we are talking about replacing Gabi Jesus, our standout performer this year . Even if we could get Wilson, Ings or Adams for the rest of the season we would suffer, still it would cost us money and would have negative effects on the long run.

  • Yes OX10, we have not been reliant on J for our goals but certainly for his threat and space creation for others. That’s the bit which is so hard to replace.

    Wow that must have been some very good coffee ☕!!! 🤩

  • J and PB, I am in agreement that Eddie should get a proper run out. I just hope that we will not lose too much in terms of our style of play and with that our effectiveness in attack.

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