Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will “look at the options” with Gabriel Jesus reportedly sidelined for three months after undergoing surgery on his knee.
The Brazil forward was ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup after sustaining the injury during the Selecao’s Group G clash with Cameroon.
According to unconfirmed reports in Brazil, Jesus will be absent for three months, while Premier League leaders Arsenal on Tuesday confirmed he has started his rehabilitation programme.
The 25-year-old has played a key role in the Gunners’ impressive start to the season, which sees them five points clear at the summit after 14 games.
Jesus’ tally of five goals is only bettered for Arsenal by Martin Odegaard (six), while only Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (nine) and team-mate Bukayo Saka (six) have registered more assists in the English top flight than his five.
With the January transfer window approaching, Arteta revealed the club are exploring possibilities on how to deal with the setback in the most constructive manner.
“What it affects is who we are as a team because he gives us so much,” the Spaniard said. “So what we can do after that, when we know the timescale [of his recovery] and when we can have him back, we will look at the options and try to make the right decision.
“I feel like my squad is really good. Unfortunately, we’ve had injuries, and we will try to see what we can do to be strong. We have players, we have a lot of accompanying players.
“[The question is] do we have the players that can give us the performances and the consistency that we need to maintain and improve from where we are?”
Arsenal resume their title tilt with a home clash against West Ham on December 26, having won six from six at Emirates Stadium in the league this term.