August 9, 2022

Mikel Arteta worked with Gabriel Jesus at Manchester City

Arsenal have signed Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City for £45m on a long-term deal.

The 25-year-old is coach Mikel Arteta’s fourth signing this summer, following the arrivals of midfielder Fabio Vieira, goalkeeper Matt Turner and Brazilian striker Marquinhos.

Arteta said he was “very excited” about Jesus’ arrival.

“The club have done a tremendous job signing a player of this stature,” he said.

Arteta, who worked with Jesus when he was an assistant coach at City, tried to bolster Arsenal’s attacking options following the departures of forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on free transfers.

“I know Gabriel very well personally, and we all know him well from his time in the Premier League and his success here,” the Gunners manager said.

“It’s a position that’s been on our radar for a long time now and we managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.”

Jesus, who will wear the number nine shirt for the Gunners, is leaving City after five and a half years.

He made 236 appearances and scored 95 goals for them, winning four Premier League titles, three League Cups and the FA Cup.

“It was a pleasure to play for Manchester City,” said Jesus.

“I feel like a better player now than when I arrived – and winning 11 trophies has been incredible. My four Premier League titles are particularly special to me.

“I want to thank everyone at City – the manager, my team-mates and the fans – for all the support they have given me over the past five and a half years.”

The Premier League champions allowed Jesus to leave after signing of Norwegian striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund for £51.2m in June, Argentine youngster Julian Alvarez is also set to join the first team.

Jesus has assisted eight league goals for Manchester City in 2021-22, the most of any player at the club along with Kevin de Bruyne.

Jesus joins a club looking to increase their goalscoring threat after finishing fifth in the Premier League last season and missing out on Champions League qualification.

He said he spoke to Arteta about the ‘club, the players, the project and the future’ before the move.

“I believe 100% in Mikel,” said the striker. “I had great times with him before, he’s a very good guy and a very good coach too. He helped me a lot. We always stayed together after training sessions and did finishes or something. something like that.

“He’s a very smart guy and he was an amazing player, so if he knows something he can teach me or teach young players.”

Arteta relied on his young players for goals last season, with Bukayo Saka, 20, their top scorer with 12, and fellow England international Emile Smith Rowe, 21, adding 11.

Analysis

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone:

Mikel Arteta knows exactly what to expect from Gabriel Jesus, given that they worked together at Manchester City.

The Brazilian is the Gunners’ fourth summer signing and feels like a replacement for former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left for Barcelona in February, although his goalscoring – 58 goals in 159 Premier League appearances – has been sporadic.

If the selfless way Jesus has done his job at City is any guide, he will be less difficult to manage than Aubameyang and more likely to fit into Arteta’s team model.

After missing out on a Champions League spot next season, Arsenal can’t be blamed for failing to back their manager, whose contract they extended to 2025.

It will be interesting to see if they can secure a deal for Ajax’s £40million-rated Argentina defender Lisandro Martinez on the next line – given interest from Manchester United.

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