Arteta admits Jesus injury will mean ‘active’ January as Arsenal ‘confident’ of luring ex-Man City star

Will Ford
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has admitted Gabriel Jesus’ “significant injury” will force Arsenal to be active and maximise opportunities in the January transfer market.

The big summer signing was sent home early from the World Cup after he sustained a knee issue in Brazil’s group stage defeat to Cameroon.

Jesus underwent surgery at the start of December and while no timescale will be put on his return, Arteta was honest enough to confirm the forward’s absence will ensure the Gunners do business next month.

“I never gave a date. I said that we don’t know. It’s gonna take some time for sure,” Arteta said on Jesus.

“He’s gone through surgery and that tells you the extent of the injury, so we will be in the market always active and we will assess the biggest opportunities that we have.

“We are going to be active and active means we are looking to strengthen the team.

“This squad still doesn’t have the luxury of not maximising every single window. We have to do that because it’s really important but then we have to get the right profile. It has to be the right player to take us to the next level.”

Jesus had played a key role in Arsenal’s rise to the top of the Premier League table despite failing to score in his last 10 club games.

The ex-Manchester City forward had spearheaded the Gunners’ attack and been a key creative force with six assists along with his five goals in the top flight this season.

Arteta added: “Obviously a huge blow with Gabriel Jesus and his injury.

“We’ll miss him for a period of time. The season has challenges, that’s a challenge we have to overcome, but if you’re going to be at the top there’s going to be those challenges.

“With Gabi it’s difficult to put a time frame because it was a significant injury. Knowing him, I prefer not to give any dates.”

Dusan Vlahovic’s name keeps cropping up amid rumours of a forward addition in January, but Arsenal are also reportedly ‘confident’ that they can sign former Manchester City forward and current Barcelona man Ferran Torres.

Dean Jones told Give Me Sport: “They really like Ferran Torres, and they clearly believe he might become available because they inquired about him in the summer as well. So, if they’re sniffing around him again now, they sense that something’s up.”

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