Arsenal fans were stunned by the news that Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes have all been left out of the Brazil squad for this month’s internationals.
Brazil face Ghana and Tunisia in friendlies, just weeks before manager Tite must decide his squad for the World Cup in Qatar.
Although defender Gabriel is yet to earn his first senior cap and Martinelli is just breaking into the Brazil team, Jesus was expected to be picked.
The 25-year-old forward has enjoyed a blistering start to the season following his move from Manchester City in the summer,
scoring three goals and providing three assists in six Premier League outings. Gabriel and Martinelli have also impressed this term
Although Tite’s decision is a blow for the Arsenal trio, it is good news for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard will be happy Jesus, Martinelli and Gabriel – each of whom started the first six Premier League games – will get a two-week rest later this month.
Arteta needs to keep his players fresh as Arsenal have a daunting schedule over the next eight months. They’ve still got 32 Premier League fixtures to fulfil, as well as Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup ties. They could end up playing more than 60 matches this term.
Tite has explained his decision to drop Jesus from the squad. “Gabriel Jesus, specifically, is having a great time and in contention,” he said. “Absolutely, yes. These call-ups serve as opportunities for others. As well as others in this same context.
Regarding the number of attackers. Football is creation and scoring, and defensive solidity. If you run away from these characteristics, you will lose.
This balance point is very difficult in a team and we are looking for it. This number of attackers will not be determined. Athletes’ versatility is an important part.”
As such, Jesus is expected to be recalled into the squad ahead of the World Cup. Yet the fact he and his Brazilian club teammates will play a maximum of four games in September is a positive. In comparison, Arsenal have nine fixtures pencilled in during October.
The news also suggests Martinelli and Gabriel won’t play at the World Cup. That’s obviously tough news for the two Brazilians to accept,
but it does give them a chance to enjoy a decent holiday this winter and get themselves prepared for the second half of the term.