Real Madrid president Florentino Perez sees Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus as the long-term successor to Karim Benzema, according to reports.
The Brazilian was brilliant for Arsenal in the first part of the season before the World Cup, contributing five goals and six assists in all competitions.
However, Jesus suffered a bad injury at the World Cup and has been out for a couple of months now, with Arsenal fans hoping he will be back sometime in February, although the club have still not specified a definite return date.
Eddie Nketiah has done well to cover in his absence with the former England under-21 international scoring six goals in seven matches since the World Cup break.
There is no guarantee Jesus will come straight back into the side once he’s fit, especially if Nketiah keeps producing the same level of performances.
And now Spanish publication Nacional insists that Jesus is attracting interest from Real Madrid with president Perez seeing the Brazil international as ‘a great successor’ to Benzema, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
Jesus is ‘on the agenda’ as Real Madrid look to replace Benzema, with the France international ‘one of the big problems’ that the Los Blancos are having to deal.
And Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has warned Jesus that he will face a fight to get back into Mikel Arteta’s team when he returns from injury.
“Eddie Nketiah has been brilliant since coming into the team, which will mean that Gabriel Jesus will need to earn his place back when he comes back from injury,” Winterburn told Paddy Power (via the Metro).
“He’s doing a fantastic job in terms of his energy and his link up play – he’s providing much more than just goals.
“The question was whether Arsenal would go into the transfer market looking for a new striker, as a backup to Nketiah, but this hasn’t been the case.
“I’ve always said that a team could never have too many strikers, as it provides plenty of options for a manager to pick from.
“‘If the team can provide Eddie with enough chances in the box, he’ll find himself in the right position. He will have learnt a lot from his run in the team last season, with his positional play and getting into the box more, being an extra option.
“We’re unsure when Gabriel Jesus will be returning from injury, so for now, we need to enjoy watching Eddie Nketiah scoring goals and playing well for the team.”
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