a tricky return to business for leader Arsenal


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Normally, the end of the season can be fatal to players just before the World Cup. This year, for the rather special 22nd edition which took place in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, it’s a little bit the opposite, and the 2022 World Cup could leave some serious traces at the end of the 2022-2023 season for the clubs. Arsenal is a perfect example. Authors of a canon start to the exercise in the Premier League, even going so far as to take a five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the standings before the truce imposed by the World Cup, the Gunners were walking on water, or almost with a well-oiled collective that moved very little.

Jesus’ injury could do damage on the pitch

With 10 elements having flown to Qatar to represent their country in recent weeks, Mikel Arteta could legitimately worry about the damage, both physical and psychological, caused by this World Cup. Unfortunately for the north London club, Gabriel Jesus, sparkling since his arrival from the Sky Blues, suffered a knee injury against Cameroon in Brazil’s last group match. Arsenal’s n°9 has gone to the pool table and will have to stay on the floor for 3 months. Bad news for the Gunners.

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This physical glitch upsets a lot of things for Arsenal, as Gabriel Jesus is a centerpiece of Mikel Arteta’s collective. “It’s a huge blow for us. He is such an important player and it is impossible to replace him. We have other players, other alternatives and we’ll try to sort that out. The transfer window is an option. We have a lot of players, we have a lot of academy players. We have players who can perform and bring us consistency to maintain or even improve.”explained the Spanish technician recently.

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What return for Nketiah and what internal solutions?

Concretely, the idea is to know if the presence of Eddie Nketiah will be enough to compensate for the absence of Jesus in the coming weeks. The 23-year-old English striker has certainly made enormous progress in recent months, but his ability to perform over time at the highest level remains a crucial question mark on the side of the Emirates Stadium. Should we trust Nketiah, also a very hard worker, but necessarily less technically skilled than the Brazilian and not having as much influence as him in the game? That is the question. The Arsenal-trained player is currently the only top striker available.

What would happen if he too was injured? Gabriel Martinelli could help him out on the front of the attack, but that would considerably reduce the depth of the bench. Reiss Nelson, author of interesting performances in recent weeks, was injured against Juventus (0-2). Fabio Vieira is a credible alternative in the starting XI, while the young Marquinhos still seems a bit tight for the top of the basket. Without a recruit in the offensive sector and in the event of additional glitches, this could quickly reduce the performance of the Gunners. Even if the highly anticipated return of Emile Smith Rowe, scheduled for January, will do the greatest good.

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The physical and psychological state of the globalists will also be taken into account by the London staff. William Saliba, defeated in the final against Argentina with the Blues, hardly played for a month, just like Gabriel Martinelli or Ben White, who resumed against Juve. Bukayo Saka was a key element for the Three Lions, but he may have a little trouble digesting the elimination in the quarterfinals against France, despite a game dominated by the English.

What transfer window for a team in full confidence?

The board of the capital club remains in any case attentive to the outposts, in particular with the tracks leading to João Félix (Atlético) and Mykhaylo Mudryk (Shakhtar), which are studied closely. In the middle of the field, the names of Danilo (Palmeiras) and Youri Tielemans (Leicester) have been coming back insistently for several weeks. The idea would then be to strengthen an irreproachable midfield since the start of the season with the Partey-Xhaka pair, but a little fragile coming off the bench or for the Europa League (Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga).

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It remains to be seen whether Arsenal, who won the Dubai Super Cup without many globalists, beating OL and AC Milan in style before losing the run of play to Juventus during the World Cup. World, will put their hands in their pockets during the winter transfer window. In January 2022, Mikel Arteta and Edu, the sporting director, had refused to recruit and notably compensate for the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which had probably prevented the Gunners from finishing in the top 4 and qualifying for the League of Champions.

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