Injured Gabriel Jesus to miss start of Arsenal's Premier League campaign

Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal looks on during the MLS All-Star Game between Arsenal FC and MLS All-Stars at Audi Field on July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC

Gabriel Jesus has picked up a knee injury in pre-season – Getty Images/Stuart MacFarlane

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus has been ruled out of the opening few weeks of the campaign, at least, after having a minor operation on his knee.

Jesus missed more than three months of last season due to a serious knee injury and Mikel Arteta said this latest procedure is a result of ongoing issues in that area.

The loss of Jesus, who is fundamental to Arteta’s plans this season, represents a significant problem for Arsenal as they prepare for Sunday’s Community Shield against Manchester City.

The Brazilian had the procedure on Wednesday morning, before Arsenal played against Monaco in a friendly at the Emirates Stadium.

“He has had some discomfort in his knee that caused him some issues so they had to go in and resolve it,” said Arteta. “It is not something major but he is going to be out for a few weeks, I think.

“It is a big blow because we had him back to his best, especially with the way he played against Barcelona [last week] and he was in good condition but unfortunately we lost him.

“We had to look at it and we had to make a decision. The best one is to protect the player and get him back as quick as possible. We decided to do it.

“It’s something related to the previous injury he had, and the surgery. He had some irritation in the knee and we had to get it resolved.”

Jesus had starred in last week’s pre-season friendly victory over Barcelona in Los Angeles. Arteta said that night: “Gabby did not score but it is the best Gabby I have seen for months.

“He gave that energy, that belief, he was creating a lot of chaos, a lot of good moments. He was making everybody better and I am really pleased with that.”

In more positive news for Arsenal, there was a goal for Eddie Nketiah, who is the most likely to fill in for Jesus over the coming weeks, as Arteta’s side drew 1-1 with Monaco before winning a penalty shootout after full-time.

But there were also concerns over star winger Bukayo Saka, who did not feature in the friendly due to “sickness”, Arteta said.

In the absence of Jesus, Arteta could also use new signing Kai Havertz, who has joined from Chelsea for £65 million, as a striker. Leandro Trossard is another option in that position.

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