Gabriel Jesus is expected to be out for around three months after undergoing successful surgery on a knee injury suffered for Brazil against Cameroon on Friday.
The 25-year-old was forced off midway through the second half against the Indomitable Lions in what was his first start at this World Cup, with the news coming as a bitter blow to Arsenal despite the procedure to correct the issue going as planned.
“Gabby will now begin his rehabilitation programme,” the north London club said in a statement.
“Everyone at the club is supporting Gabby and will be working hard to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Jesus has led the line adeptly since arriving from Manchester City in the summer, racking up 10 goal involvements in 14 Premier League games at the Emirates, and although Mikel Arteta’s marquee summer signing hasn’t scored in his last 11 matches in all competitions for the Gunners, his all-round play has been crucial in keeping Arsenal ahead of former club City heading into the international break.
Jesus’ will now miss a large chunk of both the domestic season and the Europa League, with his only deputy seemingly being Eddie Nketiah, who hasn’t started a league game this season, but has scored in his two most recent outings, a club friendly against Watford and an EFL Cup tie against Brighton, although both encounters ended in defeat.
A world-class forward is now Arteta’s top priority in the transfer window as he looks to maintain a four-point lead over reigning champions City, managed by his former tutor at the Etihad, Pep Guardiola.
Brazil meanwhile look in fine fettle heading into their quarter-final with Croatia on Friday after beating South Korea 4-1 courtesy of goals from Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta.