Ian Wright thinks Gabriel Martinelli’s form has suffered the most out of any Arsenal player since Gabriel Jesus picked up his injury.
The summer signing from Manchester City was injured while playing at the World Cup for Brazil and the forward has missed every match since the Premier League return.
Jesus made a good start to his time at Arsenal with the 25-year-old providing five goals and five assists in 14 Premier League appearances.
Martinelli has returned to form in the last couple of matches for Arsenal but his goal contributions have taken a bit of a hit since Jesus has been injured.
And Wright thinks there will be a better balance to Mikel Arteta’s side once Jesus – who has been pictured on the grass in training this week – is back in the starting XI.
“Arsenal are straining every sinew right now to stay in front [of Manchester City],” Wright said on Premier League Productions.
“Yes, we have Jesus coming back which will then hopefully fire up Martinelli even more because our left-hand side has missed Jesus.
“Jesus would interchange with Martinelli, and he would get inside and we would get a little bit more going on our left side.
“That has been a bit redundant even though Martinelli has scored some goals, he’s had to come off the bench to do that. It feels like a whole side of Arsenal is not working.
“And once that comes back maybe we could start scoring more goals again and getting those goals and chances that we need to score, just to give us a bit more breathing space in the game because I don’t think from now on in Man City are going to relent.”
Paul Merson thinks Arteta pulled off a “masterstroke” over the weekend by playing Leandro Trossard up front over Eddie Nketiah, with the latter needing rest.
Merson told Sky Sports: “I wasn’t sure about Leandro Trossard playing up front, I didn’t think it worked.
“I’d have brought Eddie Nketiah on at half-time because for all the play Arsenal had they didn’t look like scoring in the first half. The VAR decision to disallow Trossard’s goal was a brilliant spot.
“Trossard playing in that position did mean they could keep possession because he was coming short for the ball. It was like Man City from last season playing a false nine.
“That said, it was a good decision to give Nketiah a rest and I’d be shocked if he didn’t play against Everton on Wednesday. So it’s a masterstroke really to get him out of the firing line to recharge.”
On a big week in the title race, Merson added: “Arsenal have got to win on Wednesday against Everton, which is their game in hand and can move them five points clear.
“You’ve got to make that game in hand count, that’s the name of the game. They should beat Bournemouth on Saturday and then you’re at least five points clear with 12 games to go – it’s in your hands.”