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Talking Tactics: Nketiah and Trossard give Arteta options to replace Jesus
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Dan Fitch
Eddie Nketiah could fill in for Gabriel Jesus against Manchester City
Eddie Nketiah could fill in for Gabriel Jesus against Manchester City

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has a big decision to make following an injury to striker Gabriel Jesus. 

The Brazilian forward has undergone knee surgery and will miss the first few weeks of the season. 

Ahead of the Gunners' Community Shield clash with Manchester City, we look at who could replace Jesus in Arteta's starting XI.

Forward options

When Jesus was injured during Arsenal's Premier League title bid last season, Arteta was not spoilt for choice when it came to replacements. 

Back in December, the options were Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli. The signing of Leandro Trossard in January gave the Basque boss another alternative. 

Kai Havertz's arrival this summer and the return of Folarin Balogun from his successful loan at Reims has seen Arteta's possibilities swell. 

Based on what we have seen in pre-season, there would seem to be two likely options to play against City. 

Eddie to go

It was Nketiah that Arteta turned to last season to replace Jesus and the Gunners coach did so again in the 1-1 friendly draw against Monaco last Wednesday. 

The England Under-21s international not only started as striker but also skippered the side. After the game, he spoke about the selection situation. 

Nketiah said: "I don't think I'm here to fill in for anyone. I'm here to play and contribute to the team. Obviously, I believe in my abilities and I know I can contribute. 

"The manager has got a tough decision and whenever he calls me, he knows I can deliver and I can help the team, so it's just about us all collectively playing our part to achieve our goals. 

"So not just myself, there are many players that can obviously play in that position. 

"We're all ready, we are all good players, we're all able to contribute at different points in the season. Everyone's going to have different roles."

Eddie Nketiah had a limited impact for Arsenal last season
Eddie Nketiah had a limited impact for Arsenal last season

Trossard's claim

Nketiah scored the equaliser against Monaco and having proved himself to be an able deputy last season, would seem to be in pole position to start against City. 

Yet with Jesus set to be unavailable for some weeks, there could be opportunities for others to shine in the role. 

The main alternative to Nketiah at this stage would seem to be Trossard, who has scored three goals in pre-season. 

After his move from Brighton last January, the Belgian played as a striker, as well as out on the left wing. 

In six league games in a central attacking role, Trossard failed to find the net but assisted six times. 

This included a hat-trick of assists against Fulham. His ability to create chances for others makes the 28-year-old an interesting option as a No9. 

Leandro Trossard was used as a striker last season
Leandro Trossard was used as a striker last season

Other options

While Nketiah and Trossard seem the likeliest contenders to deputise for Jesus, Arsenal are now in a strong position when it comes to alternatives. 

Martinelli performed well enough in his left-wing role last season that it makes sense to keep him there for now but he can switch across. 

Though Havertz has been signed as a midfielder, he mainly played for Chelsea at centre forward. 

The amount of strikers available to Arteta could result in the Gunners cashing in on Balogun. 

Yet while there are many options right now, Arsenal may need to look at strengthening this position in the future, if Jesus' fitness issues persist.


Gabriel JesusArsenalPremier LeagueCommunity ShieldLeandro TrossardEdward Nketiah
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