Gabriel Jesus Feels “Free” With Arsenal Following Man City Departure
Since leaving Manchester City for Arsenal this summer, Gabriel Jesus has been a star for the Gunners. Jesus has noticed the change in style and said he feels “free” playing under Mikel Arteta, according to an interview with ESPN.
The Brazilian departed from Manchester City over the summer for a fee of £45 million (roughly $50 million) after never quite breaking through in his six years with the English champions.
During the 2021-22 season, Jesus played in only 28 Premier League matches for Man City finishing with eight goals and nine assists. However, Jesus is a natural striker playing the No. 9 role, but at Man City, he was used more as a winger in Pep Guardiola’s false nine formation.
“At City, it was different,” Jesus said to ESPN. “The striker didn’t touch the ball that much, you see this by watching the games. And, when it was time to touch the ball, it was not the striker, because (Guardiola) ended up putting a midfielder to come closer.”
With the false nine formation, the typical striker position is not utilized very much and, at times, midfield star Kevin De Bruyne was used in that position. This style of play makes it hard for true forwards to play their game. We have seen a change in that style for Man City with the addition of Erling Haaland.
Now at Arsenal under Arteta, Jesus is playing in his natural position, and not to my surprise is playing the best we have seen him in years. Jesus has started in all seven Premier League matches and has scored four goals with three assists.
He has looked like the best player for league-leading Arsenal leading the team in goals while sitting second in assists behind Bukayo Saka (4). Part of the credit for his success has been given to the style Arteta plays with.
“I talked a lot with Arteta about Arsenal’s style,” Jesus said. “He knows me, I know him, I understood what he wanted from me. Now, I’m free on the pitch, playing football with a smile on my face and trying to do my best all the time.”
The newfound form for Jesus came at the perfect time ahead of the 2022 World Cup in which Brazil is the clear favorite. Brazil has a lethal attack that Jesus has not quite cracked into yet, but if his form so far this season is any sign, he may be on his way to Qatar.
Up next for Jesus and Arsenal is the north London derby home to Tottenham on Saturday, Oct. 1. Anytime these two teams meet up it is an exciting match, and look for Jesus to continue his hot start against a Tottenham side that has allowed seven goals this season.
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