Gabriel Jesus is in the middle of club versus country tug-of-war ahead of the international break.
The striker limped off during the Gunners 2-1 win over Sevilla on October 24th, and hasn’t played since. However, Brazil have important World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Argentina during the break, and are reportedly insisting that Jesus travels to Brazil to be assessed by their own medical staff.
It suggests distrust of the information they are receiving from Arsenal, and speaking to ESPN Brasil’s Joao Castelo-Branco after the 3-1 defeat of Burnley on Saturday, a ‘visibly uncomfortable’ Mikel Arteta said of the situation, “I don’t know. I’m going to talk to the doctors and him [Jesus], because he didn’t do any training with us.
“He’s far from working with the team, but it’s an internal communication between the club and the national team. The first intention is always to seek the best for the player.”
Meanwhile, Brazil’s coach Fernando Diniz said, “We’re going to bring Gabriel in to find out the real conditions, because we believe he can be fit enough to play.
“We have 24 players on the list, and if something happens to him we won’t need to change the squad.”
It seems an unnecessary complication for a player who has struggled with a couple of niggling injuries since his return from knee surgery last season. Brazil’s need for his quality is understandable, as they currently sit third in their qualifying group, but putting a player’s fitness at risk is something that will undoubtedly frustrate Mikel Arteta and Arsenal.
Let’s see how it plays out.