Julien Laurens thinks it’s now ‘really difficult’ for Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus to make Tite’s Brazil World Cup squad, with Tottenham star Richarlison seemingly ahead of him, as he told ESPN.
To perhaps the surprise of many, a number of Arsenal players were left out of Brazil’s latest squad, including their thriving attacking duo Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli.
Whilst those two, who have helped Mikel Arteta’s side to the top of the Premier League table after seven games, miss out, the likes of Richarlison, Raphinha, Antony, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jnr and Neymar, are all selected.
Now, some of those names such as Rodrygo, Vinicius and Neymar are obvious picks, but for the rest, there is perhaps a debate.
One thing is for sure, when a player like Jesus, who would no doubt be selected for nations such as Spain, Germany and England right now, misses out for Brazil, then it showcases their strength in depth.
Of course, as European football expert Laurens shared, there is always a chance of Jesus and Martinelli earning that golden ticket to Qatar if they put in ‘really outstanding performances’ during these coming months, but he just can’t see it changing Tite’s mind.
“We say that this is the squad that you have to be in to make the World Cup squad,” said Laurens. “It’s the same for every single country and especially the big countries, where there is so much focus on the one before the official one for the World Cup.
“If you are missing out on the last squad, before the competition, then it’s really hard to get back into it – not being in this one was a big blow for Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli, especially when you see the firepower this Brazil team has.
“When they play like that together, Raphinha, Richarlison, Neymar and Vinicius were so good (against Ghana), yes, you can take Jesus and he might be as good as Richarlison, or Martinelli might be another good option instead of Raphinha or for Vinicius in the last 15 minutes of a game.
“But you could also say the six that Tite has selected for this international break are perfectly fine. Unless they have really outstanding performances with Arsenal in the next four weeks to regain that place. I think it’s going to be really difficult for them to make the World Cup, unfortunately.”
MIXED FEELINGS FOR ARSENAL FANS
On one hand, Arsenal fans will be gutted for their players because of how well they have done so far and what they might continue to produce from now until the World Cup starts.
But, on the other, whilst players slug it out for the World Cup, go deep into the competition, perhaps wear themselves out for what will be a long season or even pick up injuries, their key players will be resting.
That just might, in the long run, or heading towards the final months of the campaign, prove to be beneficial to Arteta and his quest to secure Champions League football.
All in all, this is a unique scenario for all and it’s going to be interesting to see what effect it has on domestic football after the World Cup is finished.