Mikel Arteta has provided an injury update on Gabriel Jesus and following Arsenal’s 3-0 friendly victory over Lyon.
The domestic season in England is currently on pause for the ongoing in but the Gunners – five points clear at the top of the Premier League table – are out in Dubai to set up preparations for when the action gets back underway.
Arteta put out an experimental side as Arsenal smashed French side Lyon 3-0 on Thursday – using first-team regulars in the first-half before making 10 changes after the break and handing opportunities to a number of youngsters.
Goals from , Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Vieira saw the Gunners take a 3-0 lead after just 39 minutes with the club’s young players helping to secure a second-half clean sheet in an all-round impressive performance.
But one player who did not feature was injured midfielder Smith Rowe, , with the Gunners back in top-flight action on December 26.
Smith Rowe has been limited to just 47 minutes of action in the 2022-23 campaign and has featured in just four Premier League games.
The 22-year-old England international midfielder has missed most the season through injury having undergone grain surgery.
He last appeared in the 3-1 defeat to on September 4 – Arsenal’s only top-flight loss of the season so far – playing the last 16 minutes.
Quizzed about Smith Rowe on Thursday after he missed the victory over Lyon, Arteta said: ‘With Emile, he has returned to training and he’s in that process after we rehab, after a period where he had some real discomfort.
‘So we are giving him time – he’s getting closer and closer. So hopefully in the next few weeks, we’ll be able to see him.’
Arteta was also asked about Jesus, .
Arsenal have refused to put any timescale on the 25-year-old’s recovery, but initial .
‘No, [there is no timescale],’ Arteta added. ‘We know that he needed some intervention in the knee and we have to take day by day, week by week and see where that takes us.’
Quizzed on if Jesus’ injury will impact Arsenal’s transfer plans, Arteta said: ‘What it affects is who we are as a team because he gives us so much.
‘What we can do after that when we know the timescale better and we have when we can have him back we will look at the options and try to make the right decisions.’
Arteta also suggested that Gabriel Martinelli could play as a striker when it was put to him.
‘We look at the squad and see what the options we have our with the players we have available,’ he added.
‘There are things we can try, we have the need to do so.’