Gabriel Jesus could be out for three months after having knee surgery. The Arsenal forward sustained the injury playing for Brazil at the World Cup and his club said the operation had been a success.
Jesus has been a major part of Arsenal’s early-season success, scoring five goals and providing five assists to help the team establish a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League before the break for the World Cup.
The injury is more serious than initially thought and a three-month absence would keep the 25-year-old out of 11 league matches. Eddie Nketiah is the natural understudy but Arsenal will step up attempts to sign a versatile forward in January.
“Gabby will now begin his rehabilitation programme,” Arsenal said. “Everyone at the club is supporting Gabby and will be working hard to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Brazil’s manager, Tite, reacted angrily on Sunday to reports that he knew there was a risk in fielding Jesus. “I don’t like hearing lies, said with bad intent,” he said. “We never put a player at risk. The liars, the haters, can go and do something else and stop giving fake news.
“Arsenal have a great medical department, we have a great medical department and we are responsible and ethical. I didn’t want this to happen and we’re very sorry for him.”