Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has called on Gabriel Jesus to be brought back into the starting XI.
Fitness issues, and the form of Eddie Nketiah, mean that Jesus is yet to start for Arsenal this season. However, he was introduced from the bench against Manchester United last time out and capped a fine cameo at the Emirates Stadium by scoring his first goal of the season.
Arsenal paid £45 million to sign Jesus from Manchester City last summer. The Brazilian striker was a revelation upon his arrival in north London. His power, flair, directness, and willingness to run at opponents with the ball at his feet introduced a new dimension to the Gunners’ attacking play.
Unfortunately, Jesus missed out on a significant chunk of the campaign when he suffered a knee injury whilst on international duty at the World Cup in Qatar. Nketiah has been largely excellent when deputising in the 26-year-old’s absence and would have every right to feel hard done by if dropped to the bench by Arteta.
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That is precisely the action that Campbell believes Arteta must take. Speaking on The Gooner’s Pod, he said, “he’s had his injury, he’s come back and he’s made a difference. Against Everton, I think Gabriel Jesus if he’s fit, I think he has to start because he makes that much of a difference for us at the top end of the pitch.”
That being said, the retired forward also pointed out that Jesus needs to become more clinical in front of goal if he is to fire the Gunners to a Premier League title this season. He said, “we do need more goals from him, we need 20 goals from Gabriel Jesus this season but we also need [Bukayo] Saka to hit the heights, [Gabriel] Martinelli to hit the heights, Martin Odegaard to hit the heights, we need Kai Havertz to hit some form as well.”
At times in his Arsenal career, Jesus has looked tentative and unconvincing when presented with good goalscoring opportunities. However, he showed no lack of conviction with his coolly taken finish against the Red Devils. If he has indeed taken a step forward with his finishing ability then he has the capacity to be one of the most devastating strikers in the Premier League and would demand a place in the Arsenal team.