There’s talk about Emile Smith-Rowe having next season as his last shot at proving himself worthy of being a Gunner. Well, other than Smith-Rowe, I believe Gabriel Jesus is also one player who, come next season, must prove whether he has what it takes to lead Arteta’s attack or whether he needs to be replaced.

It is now apparent that Arteta intends to use Kai Havertz as an attacking midfielder. He wants to play him as one of his double 8s. He plays on the left, and Odegaard plays on the right. With those two taking on an attacking midfielder role, Rice will take up the No. 6 role Arsenal’s first-choice midfield set-up may be Rice-Havertz-Odegaard.

The argument about that set-up is whether it will not be as defensive as it should be; it will be an attacking midfield. However, Arteta must be banking on his team dominating possession and scoring goals, hence overpowering opponents.

Such a game will need Jesus, Arsenal’s lead striker, to be alert and in top form to get the goals from the many chances bound to be created from a Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, and Havertz link-up.

This season, there have been murmurs about Jesus not being the striker to fire Arsenal to glory, and Jesus will have to disprove this perception by converting a lot more of his clear chances. Last season, he managed 11 goals in 26 games, but after losing a huge chunk of the season through injury, the concern isn’t about his numbers, it is about the goal drought the Brazilian ends up having.

Before the World Cup, he nearly went ten games without a goal, and towards the end of the season, he also didn’t manage to score regularly. Next season, that must change.

If it doesn’t, Arteta’s priority signing next year could be a move for a super striker.

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