Xhaka ready to support Nketiah in Jesus' Arsenal absence

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Granit Xhaka admits it is a huge blow for Arsenal to lose Gabriel Jesus to injury but is confident the Gunners can compete in his absence, offering his support to likely replacement Eddie Nketiah.

Jesus suffered a knee injury in Brazil's World Cup loss to Cameroon, ruling him out of the remainder of the tournament and leading to surgery – with the expectation he will face two to three months out.

It hands Mikel Arteta a huge blow ahead of the Gunners' resumption of their Premier League title push on Boxing Day, with the former Manchester City forward quickly establishing himself as an integral member of the squad.

While Jesus faces an extended period out, Xhaka believes it is a "small injury" for him to cope with and vowed to support his teammate in his recovery.

"I spoke with him straight after the Cameroon game. We have the contact between each other, with all the players we have here in the World Cup," he told reporters.

"It's a shame because you saw in the first round of the Premier League how important he is for us. I don't know how big the injury is, maybe two or three months, I think.

"But he is a strong guy. It’s a small injury for him I think, and we will support him. He knows that we are behind him and hopefully we can get him back as quick as possible."

Jesus' injury could see Arsenal turn to Nketiah to lead the line.

Nketiah is yet to score in 12 substitute appearances in the Premier League this term but finished the last campaign strongly, earning a fresh contract after scoring five goals in the final seven top-flight matches.

Xhaka believes Nketiah has the capability to fill the void in the Gunners' attack and is eager to help the 23-year-old in the months ahead.

"We have the option with Eddie, of course. He showed great games as well in the past and we need to support Gabi first," he added.

"We need to support Eddie as well, because he will be a big, big part of the next two or three months.

"But I am looking forward because we have the quality to bring Eddie there and to help him."

Arsenal resume their Premier League campaign on Boxing Day with a London derby against West Ham at the Emirates Stadium.