Pundit issues season-defining Gabriel Jesus warning after new Arsenal development - 'it's big'
Noel Whelan has suggested the potential of a Gabriel Jesus suspension could be season-defining for Arsenal as they prepare for back-to-back games against Tottenham and Liverpool.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 25-year-old’s potential absence would be a “big blow”.
Jesus picked up his fourth yellow card of the season during the 3-0 win over Brentford – and is just one caution away from triggering an automatic one-match ban.
Arsenal face a derby clash against Tottenham next – meaning the striker will be banned against Liverpool on 9 October if he is booked against Spurs.
Jesus, who has notched four goals and three assists this term, has proved a revelation for a Gunners side who sit top of the league after seven games.
Whelan insisted the upcoming fixtures are another opportunity for Arsenal to show their title credentials after their loss against Man United earlier this month.
Click below for exclusive transfer news
He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “You want your best players for the biggest games.
“They’ll be looking at these two fixtures as games which will define them at the end of the year. That’s when they’ll know what they’re fighting for.
“When you’re playing against the big teams who are up there, they are the games you need the big players for – because that’s when big players turn up.
“They need Jesus out there against Tottenham and Liverpool. It’d be a big blow and a big miss if he is to be banned.
“These are the tests now. They’ve failed the Man United test, but they’ve got two more opportunities to show what they’re made of.
“Jesus is key to that.”