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‘Have to change’: Kevin Campbell now says two Arsenal players will have to change roles after Jesus injury
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

‘Have to change’: Kevin Campbell now says two Arsenal players will have to change roles after Jesus injury

Arsenal finally return to competitive action this evening, when they play West Ham United at The Emirates.

It’s a chance for the Gunners to extend their lead at the top of the league, but will be a tough challenge.

Arsenal legend Kevin Campbell has spoken to Football London and previewed the match.

Mikel Arteta will be without striker Gabriel Jesus after he sustained a serious injury at the World Cup.

Arsenal have offered no timescale on the Brazilian’s return, but he required surgery after leaving Qatar.

Arteta will now have to re-think his tried and tested and starting line-up.

It looks almost certain that young forward Eddie Nketiah will now have an opportunity to lead the line for the Gunners.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

After signing a new long-term contract in the summer, the 23-year-old has been a bit-part player in the league.

He’s also a very different centre-forward to Jesus, and Campbell thinks Arsenal will need to adapt to this.

He believes that Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard will need to change their roles in the team to adapt.

Given just how successful Arsenal have been playing the same way all season, it’s obviously a risk to make a change.

Xhaka and Odegaard need to change roles – Campbell

Speaking to Football London about Arsenal’s upcoming game, Campbell said:

“I think Eddie has to play his natural game, but I think he’s learned a lot from watching Jesus in how he links the play.

“Sometimes you have to go deep because being up against those big centre-halves isn’t easy for him.

“So, you drop deep to see if they come out of the hole, if they don’t come out you get a touch of the ball and then you move.

“I think we probably have to change, Odegaard and Xhaka might have to change the way they play.

“Whereas we could get it up to Jesus and he will hold it, he will dribble, he’ll beat people, that’s not Eddie’s game.

“He’ll get it, he’ll lay it off and go again; I think we have to try and get him on the last defender’s shoulder, and we have got to rely a lot then on Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka and Martinelli to get service into Eddie.”

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Arsenal have faith in Nketiah

If Xhaka and Odegaard’s roles change, it could put even more emphasis on Arsenal’s wingers.

Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have both outscored Jesus in the league, but this is added level of responsibility.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has backed Nketiah to prove any doubters wrong when Arsenal return to action.

Danny Murphy has also said that he thinks the Englishman is a much-better goalscorer than Jesus anyway.

His finishing ability in the box could really benefit Arsenal if Martinelli, Saka and Odegaard can find him in the area.

Arteta clearly has plenty of faith in him too after green-lighting a contract that will keep him at the club for years to come.

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