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Gary Lineker believes £45million star will lose his starting spot at Arsenal 

Gary Lineker is of the opinion that important Arsenal star should not walk back into Arsenal’s starting XI when he returns from injury

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Image credit: Getty Images

Former England striker Gary Lineker has raised doubts over Gabriel Jesus’ immediate return to Arsenal starting lineup following his recent absence due to injury.

Jesus has been sidelined for Arsenal’s last three matches due to a knee injury sustained last month. In his absence, Arsenal have won three consecutive matches, including an impressive 3-1 victory against Liverpool, and have scored a total of 14 goals in those games.

Mikel Arteta has made tactical adjustments during Jesus’ absence, with players like Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard stepping up to fill the void. Havertz has shifted from a midfield role to a center-forward position, while Trossard has been deployed as a false nine in recent weeks.

Speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast, Lineker expressed uncertainty about Jesus’ immediate return to the starting XI. 

Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus

Gary Lineker says Gabriel Jesus should not return to the starting XI at Arsenal when he returns from injury (Image Credit: Getty Images)

“Jesus has been out injured and it’s questionable now whether and where he will get back in. Havertz is contributing as well,” Lineker remarked.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta says one Arsenal star has hit top form for the first time this season

Jesus is expected to be back for Arsenal on Wednesday in the Champions League against FC Porto, however, Lineker believes when the Brazilian returns to full fitness, he may face stiff competition for his place in the team due to the impressive performances of other players, particularly Trossard.

Jesus has endured a relatively underwhelming season before his injury, managing just four league goals in 17 appearances. With Arsenal finding success and cohesion in recent matches, Arteta may opt to maintain the current winning formula, potentially delaying Jesus’ return to the starting lineup.

Arteta said earlier this month when asked of Jesus’ injury: “We really need him at his best. I had a great feeling before the game. I told him, because he had some fluid on the knee and he was struggling. He was kicking every physio out there two days ago.

“He was saying I want to be on that pitch and he pushed everybody to be there and when someone has that attitude and desire in this moment, something good is going to happen because he has the ability and that quality.”

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