Arsenal face an almost impossible task of finding a replacement for Gabriel Jesus, according to Yohan Djourou.
But the former Gunner hopes his old club can manage without their star man and lift their first Premier League title for almost two decades.
GettyJesus played just three games at the World Cup as a knee injury cut short his journey in Qatar
Arsenal top the table after a strong first half of the season, and will look to maintain their brilliant record when action resumes on Boxing Day, with the north Londoners facing a Christmas trip to Brighton.
But they received a hammer blow to their title hopes during the World Cup, with news Gabriel Jesus is set for a long spell on the sidelines with a knee injury he suffered for Brazil in Qatar.
While it is claimed the club has not put a timescale on his return, reports have suggested Jesus could be facing up to three months out after undergoing surgery, with the star now on crutches and his knee in a heavy brace.
The 25-year-old’s arrival in the summer from Manchester City was a key turning point for Mikel Arteta’s side, with his energy in attack making a huge difference in the Gunners team.
He entered the winter break with a record of five goals and six assists in 14 appearances, but those stats play down his role in the team that sits five points clear of defending champions City at the top of the table.
The upcoming January transfer window presents the perfect chance for Arteta to strengthen his squad and really push to bring back the club’s first title since the 2003/04 Invincibles season under Arsene Wenger.
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But Djourou, who spent ten years at the Emirates Stadium, admits it’s unlikely Arsenal will find a like-for-like replacement for the No.9 to fill the void left by his absence.
“Mikel Arteta knows better [then me] what he needs and what he can do with the resources they have, but definitely Gabriel Jesus is a massive loss for them,” he told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“I think that the energy he brings to the team, even if he wasn’t scoring goals, just the fact he’s pressuring other teams makes him special.
“And it’s hard to find another player like that.
GettyArsenal have been linked with an interest in Barcelona forward Torres in January
“The better players are Erling Haaland who is at Manchester City, and a player like Julian Alvarez who is with City as well, so it’s hard to find players who fit with the system and who know Arteta.
“Because, don’t forget, Gabriel knew Arteta, he knew what to expect, he knew the system, he knew everything about him as a coach before he signed for Arsenal.
“To find that player now is tricky. But they need to definitely add some forwards.”
Arsenal have been linked with an interest in Ferran Torres – another player Arteta coached during his time under Pep Guardiola at City.
GettyDjourou hopes Arsenal can win the Premier League title this season for the first time since Arsene Wenger’s retirement
But Djourou doubts whether that would be a wise move, saying the Spaniard hasn’t been at his best since his move to Barcelona.
He added: “A player like Ferran Torres at Barcelona? That could be interesting.
“But I don’t feel that Ferran has shown enough in the Premier League, or at Barcelona either.”
Asked if he believes Arsenal have really got what it takes to win the Premier League title this season, he added: “I hope.
“I really hope they have, because they sound on what they do and the philosophy.
“Time is what you need and it’s nice to see that they have actually built something and it’s working.
“Now, is the time to see with the injuries and the players coming back from the World Cup – [Takehiro] Tomiyasu is coming back who said he needed time, they’ve got [Thomas] Partey coming back, [Granit] Xhaka coming back, so let’s see how all those things now come together and see who is the strongest in coming back.”
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Originally Posted By Talk Sport