Gabriel Jesus opens up on Arsenal transfer reasons


Gabriel Jesus left Manchester City for Arsenal this summer, and while no-one in their right mind questioned the Gunners’ willingness to pay more than €50 million to sign the striker given their situation in that aspect at the time, many eyebrows were raised when it became known that the player himself was willing to leave the Premier League champions and join a team still struggling to return to the top of the English football, a team that had just failed to qualify for the Champions League.

However, not only that Jesus’ arrival has provided Arsenal with a fresh, potent attacking spark, but the Brazil international seems happier than he did for a long time at the Etihad.

And speaking to ESPN Brasil, Jesus explained his reasons, putting his desire to leave City down to Pep Guardiola’s tactical demands.

“The thing was the way [Guardiola] understands football and what he wanted,” the 25-year-old striker said.

“Then it was up to you to accept it or not. If you don’t accept it, ‘thank you’ and let’s go for another challenge. I accepted it for a while, but there came a moment when I said, ‘I want another thing for myself’. I thanked him, he understood, and we moved on. It is different here at Arsenal. The football is different – different players, different ways to play.

“At City, it was different. 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. OK, fine. So, I decided to change.

Obviously, Jesus had to make sure it wouldn’t be the same at Arsenal before accepting the move to North London.

“I talked a lot with [Mikel] Arteta about Arsenal’s style. 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.”

Jesus has so far netted five goals in nine matches in all competitions for Arsenal, and his overall play has obviously improved the team’s attacking potential as they lead the way in the Premier League table at the moment, one point above City.