Bukayo Saka says he was quick to message Gabriel Jesus when he heard the Brazilian would be ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a knee injury.
While the news is theoretically good for England’s World Cup hopes, it certainly isn’t advantageous for Arsenal.
Jesus returned to London yesterday and is understood to have visited a specialist today.
Reports claim he could be sidelined for three months which would see him miss a significant chunk of the season even though domestic action doesn’t restart until Boxing Day.
“He is a very, very, very, very important player for us and it’s not good to hear the news,” said Saka.
“Obviously I messaged him and I think he is going to go and see the doctor, and see what he needs to do for the next steps. But yeah, definitely it’s not good news when I heard that.”
Jesus has seven assists and five goals in 20 appearances since signing from Manchester City and has been a lynchpin of the attack despite the goals not flowing since October.
Facing the media in Qatar ahead of England’s World Cup quarter-final with France, Saka was also asked about comparisons with Kylian Mbappe and whether he is on course to be the tournament’s breakout star. The Arsenal winger has scored the same number of goals, 3, as his French counterpart to further consolidate his burgeoning credentials as a rising star.
“Thank you for the compliment but no,” replied Saka. “There’s only one Kylian Mbappe. At the same time, there’s only one me. I want to be myself and help the team in the best way I can.
“There are so many young players in the tournament, I can name so many. Even in our team, there’s a young player who’s doing unbelievably well in Jude Bellingham.
“I’m just happy we are all here and doing well. The priority is to win the tournament, not be player or young player of the tournament.”