Gabriel Jesus picked up a knee injury in Brazil’s loss to Cameroon in their final group stage match at the World Cup and will reportedly miss the remainder of the competition. The Arsenal striker came off after 64 minutes complaining of knee pain after getting banged up earlier in the match. Jesus, who had featured as a substitute in Brazil’s first two matches, started the third as part of a heavily rotated side because Brazil had already advanced to the knockout stage.
The initial reports from sources “close to the player” is that the scan did not reveal major damage to his knee, nonetheless the injury would keep him out until January. That means he should miss the Brighton and West Ham matches. The big question mark is whether he’ll be ready for the important showdown with Newcastle on January 3rd.
The Brazilian press report that the injury should take 3-4 weeks to recover, so Arsenal may have lucked out. Jesus requested to stay with the Brazilian team in Qatar, who are reportedly happy to have him around the team. He’s a well-liked figure in the locker room and with the coaching staff. It remains to be seen whether Arsenal request that he return to London so that the club can be more involved in his treatment and recovery.
Jesus has 5 goals and 5 assists in the Premier League this season. His importance to the Gunners goes beyond his contributions on the scoresheet, however. His movement, ability to connect play, and still create chaos in the penalty area is a key factor in Arsenal’s attacking improvement this season. Eddie Nketiah has some big shoes to fill.