Journalist Charles Watts has claimed that Gabriel Martinelli has the qualities to be a short-term replacement for the injured Gabriel Jesus.
Jesus has reportedly been ruled out for months with a knee injury he sustained playing for Brazil in the World Cup.
The 25-year-old limped off after 63 minutes with the injury that required him to have surgery on, during the Selecao’s dead rubber group stage game against Cameroon which both Jesus and Martinelli played in
It’s now left Mikel Arteta with a headache over who will replace the £45m signing with his performances propelling Arsenal to the top of the league.
The obvious option is looking towards the January transfer window to bolster the squad but Watts revealed on his YouTube channel that the Gunners already have a like-for-like alternative in the squad with Martinelli who could replicate Jesus’ impact.
“It’s what he brings to the team that’s just been invaluable.
“Jesus has just transformed that side from his pressing, his work ethic, his movement, everything he brings to that final third which Arsenal were lacking massively beforehand.
“I look at Martinelli at the moment and he’s got a lot of that in terms of his movement, his work ethic, the way he presses, he’s got very similar attributes to Jesus in that regard,” Watts said.
TIF Thoughts on Watts’ comments…
It would show a huge sign of faith from Arteta if he were to move the 21-year-old central and utilise him as a Jesus 2.0 until the former Premier League winner returns, a role Martinelli has played 15 times for Arsenal.
The Gunners don’t need an out-and-out goal scorer to step in for the 59-capped Brazil international with him only netting five times all season, but his link-up play and movement can be replicated by his national compatriot who already has as many goals as him.
Instead, the real worry would be who would replace Martinelli, the obvious candidate of Emile Smith-Rowe has struggled with a groin injury this campaign while question marks over Marquinhos or Reiss Nelson’s ability to become regulars are yet to be answered.