says he is ‘worried’ about Arsenal’s ability to maintain their strong start to the season when the Premier League resumes on Boxing Day.
The Gunners comfortably saw off Wolves 2-0 in their final match before the to maintain a five-point lead at the top of the table, having lost just one of their first 14 matches and won 12 – two more than nearest rivals .
Arsenal have also benefited from a number of their first-team stars not playing at the World Cup, such as , Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Magalhaes.
Others, such as Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey, exited the tournament in the group stage or last 16 and have already resumed full training with the rest of the squad.
Arsenal have also enjoyed a productive warm-weather training camp and won two friendlies against Lyon and AC Milan, with a third taking place against Juventus on Saturday evening.
However, they were dealt a massive blow when Gabriel Jesus was forced to return early from Qatar, with the Brazilian potentially sidelined for three months after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.
Once again, that leaves Arsenal light on attacking options going into the January market – with the same scenario playing out last year when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was exiled and eventually let go – and it remains to be seen if Mikel Arteta will invest in a new forward.
Eddie Nketiah is the only senior, fit striker at Arteta’s disposal at present and although he did an excellent job at the backend of last season, Ferdinand is concerned that Jesus’ injury could see Arsenal’s campaign start to unravel.
During a World Cup special edition of his , Ferdinand randomly brought up the Gunners, saying: ‘I’m worrying for Arsenal after we go back!
‘I’m just saying. Just because of Jesus, that’s all I’m worried about.’
Arteta has remained coy on whether Arsenal will look to reinforce their squad with a new forward in the January window, with the club having previously been looking at adding a winger and midfielder.
On the whole, though, the Spaniard has largely been happy with how the past few weeks have gone, saying earlier this week: ‘We discussed the things that we are doing really well, and it is not a coincidence the way we have been performing but if we want to challenge at the top, we have to improve certain things.
‘We’ve been lucky because we’ve brought a lot of kids here, but what they have done is not only maintain the standards, but increase them, so I want to say thank you so much to them because they have been key in this camp to have a successful period in training and compete in the competition.’
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