Murphy claims Arsenal can still challenge for title without Gabriel Jesus
Danny Murphy has told the Daily Mail that he finds talk that Arsenal will crumble after losing Gabriel Jesus to injury disrespectful, as he backed the Gunners to do well in the title race in the striker’s absence.
Arsenal fans were dealt the news they must have feared for much of the World Cup when it was reported that Jesus would miss several months after injuring his knee playing for Brazil.
The 25-year-old appears to have been a game-changing signing for Mikel Arteta’s side. He seemed to be the perfect piece in the jigsaw. He arrived after a year in which none of the club’s strikers were particularly prolific.
Murphy backs Arsenal to continue title charge
Jesus has not been in the best form in front of goal of late. But his contribution to the Gunners has been absolutely massive. And with many probably expecting Manchester City to kick on in the second-half of the season already, plenty probably feel that Arsenal’s title challenge is going to soon be over.
However, Murphy believes that it is incredibly unfair to make such a claim about Arsenal because Jesus is now sidelined.
“A lot has been made of the knee injury Gabriel Jesus suffered with Brazil, that might keep him out for a month, but I don’t think the Gunners will crumble, as some suggest,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Jesus has been important in Arsenal’s great run: he’s unselfish; works hard off the ball and sets the tone for the press. But he hasn’t scored in his last 11 games. So I don’t think Arsenal should be fearful of playing without him.
“Eddie Nketiah is a fox in the box and can finish. Arsenal’s next three games against West Ham, Brighton and Newcastle are all winnable without Jesus.
“It’s disrespectful to Arteta, as well as stars such as Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and the other Arsenal players, to suggest one injury setback will make it a stroll.”
Gunners facing huge challenge without Jesus
You can understand why supporters have their concerns. Of course, the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard are incredibly talented.
But they were outstanding last season, too. And yet, there was no title challenge from Arsenal.
Their improvement is not all down to Jesus, by any means. He was not their only signing. And he was not the only new face to receive a prominent role in the squad this season.
But filling the void he leaves for the time-being is going to be a huge challenge. And that is why some may now be thinking of writing Arsenal off.