Brazil manager, Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, popularly known as Tite, has hit out at the media rumours about Gabriel Jesus injury which he picked up during the last group stage game against Cameroon in the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The Arsenal striker started the game as Tite chose to rotate after his side had sealed qualification to the round of 16. However, he was replaced with Pedro, the Flamengo striker in the 64th minute. It looked like a tactical substitution because Jesus had struggled to make any impact in the game until that point, but it turned out that the former Manchester City man had to be taken off due to picking a knock.
Scans after the game revealed that Jesus had injured his knee and the recovery would take around three to four weeks, effectively ruling him out for the rest of the tournament. However, some reports from Brazil began to claim that the injury may be more serious than the Brazil national team let on and that the Arsenal striker could be out for three to four months.
Three to four weeks without Jesus, who has been very effective for the team since signing in the summer, is already a problem for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal. Three to four months, however, puts their season in danger as Jesus has become integral to how they play.
Tite, who was worried about how the news would affect Jesus and his club as well as the relationship between both parties, hit out angrily at the media for spreading “lies” in his latest World Cup media outing.
“I don’t like hearing lies out there, evil lies. At no time do we play for victory at the risk of a player’s peril,” Tite said. “The liar who’s out there – because that’s the name isn’t it, the haters, right? Go do something else and stop giving fake news.
“Arsenal has a great medical department. We have a great medical department. We have a personal responsibility. We have personal ethics. It would never happen like this.”
Arsenal, meanwhile, will surely be looking into signing a striker in the January transfer window as Eddie Nketiah will be the only other striker left in the team.
Arteta could wing it the way his mentor Pep Guardiola did for most of last season when he chose to play Jesus out wide. For this, Gabriel Martinelli could be used as the focal point of the attack whenever Nketiah is not called upon.
However, Jesus’ injury has necessitated the signing of a striker in January and the Gunners’ will be hard at work to identify targets.