Expert issues 'critical' Arsenal claim amid Gabriel Jesus 'ban' controversy
Noel Whelan has insisted Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta won’t be telling Gabriel Jesus to change his game despite him facing a one-match suspension.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 25-year-old is key to the Gunners’ fortunes in a “crucial” period between now and November’s World Cup.
Jesus picked up his fourth yellow card of the season during the win over Brentford last month (18 September) – meaning he is just one caution away from triggering an automatic one-match ban.
The Brazil international escaped a booking during a feisty 3-1 derby win over Tottenham (1 October), meaning he is free to face Liverpool on Sunday (9 October).
Jesus’ disciplinary record will not be wiped clean for another 11 Premier League matches – with Arsenal facing Liverpool, Leeds United, Southampton, Nottingham Forest, and Chelsea in their next five outings.
The former Man City star has notched five goals and three assists in eight league games since joining the Gunners.
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Whelan insisted Arteta will be happy to deal with the consequences of a potential ban with Eddie Nketiah waiting in the wings.
He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Arteta won’t want to change him one minute. He’ll just tell him to go out there and play his game.
“If he picks up a yellow card, he picks up a yellow card. This is such a crucial part of the season leading up to the World Cup – this is the nitty-gritty.
“He likes the tenacity Jesus brings. If you take that away from him, he’s a different animal altogether.
“He can’t be cautious, he’s just got to do what he does.
“If he gets a yellow, Arteta will deal with the ban he gets when it comes to the next game.”