There are fears that the Brazilian will miss up to three months of action after undergoing surgery for a knee injury sustained during the World Cup.
While Mikel Arteta has confirmed that the Premier League leaders would be active in the next month of January. transfer windowit’s a notoriously tough month for club buying.
The gunners are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk about a possible move for Mykhaylo Mudrykalthough the Ukrainian club is reluctant to sell the 21-year-old.
Without Jesus, Mikel Arteta only has Eddie Nketiah as a recognized center forward, although Gabriel Martinelli has been touted as a potential option in the middle.
Merson believes the 21-year-old Nketiah simply cannot replace Jesus, who has scored five goals in 14 Premier League appearances since trading from Manchester City for Arsenal.
“It is a great concern that they are now dependent on an out of shape Eddie Nketiah,” Merson wrote in the Daily Star.
“They could have an eight point lead if they beat West Ham before Manchester City play a game and you still wouldn’t want them to win the title without Gabriel Jesus.
“It’s difficult because even though he doesn’t score many goals, he’s still very effective. If he’s out for three months, I’d be surprised if they’re in the top four. I just don’t see where the goals come from.
“Without being horrible, which Premier League team does Eddie Nketiah fit into? Wolves are inferior, for example, they are desperate for a goal and they would not go looking for it.
“For me, it’s really worrying. This is not disrespectful to Nketiah or the other players, but Jesus ties it all together. Nketiah could deliver for three games, but I don’t see him doing it for 10 or more games.” .