Mikel Arteta believes that Gabriel Jesus will “set different standards at the club” after arriving from Manchester City.
The Brazilian striker is well-known to the Gunners boss who coached him at City, and he is thrilled to be reunited with the 25-year-old who he believes is an excellent acquisition.
“I think the club has done a tremendous job to recruit a player of this stature,” the manager said. “It’s somebody that I know personally really well, and we all know really well because he’s played in the league and been really successful.
“It’s a position that’s been on our radar for a long time now and we have managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.”
Having hit 95 goals in 236 appearances for City across six seasons, Jesus’ ability in front of goal won’t be a surprise to anyone, but Arteta has revealed there are many other qualities that prompted him to move for the 56-time capped attacker, including a winning mentality that will raise standards.
When reflecting on what Arsenal have recruited, he said: “I think it’s a package. Start with his character, the person, the smile and what he represents as a human being. Then he’s an incredible professional, with his work ethic and enthusiasm. You will see it the first day he puts on his boots and enters the training pitch; he has the enthusiasm that he is going to create on his own on that pitch.
“And then obviously there are his qualities, his anger to score, his willingness to be coached, to improve. He is used to winning and he knows that winning is the only way to do it. I think he will set different standards at the club.”
Arteta first began working with a 19-year-old Jesus fresh off a plane to England from his homeland back in January 2017, therefore is perfectly placed to describe how he has developed from a player with potential to a proven goalscorer for club and country.
“He was very different,” the manager said when pressed about his initial impressions. “He has had so many experiences in the past five to six years that has made him the player he is today. But from day one he has shown that passion, that anger and that decisiveness every time he was doing something. That’s what made him special.
“Now he has a different level of experience, he’s won a lot but he’s gone through difficult patches as well when he hasn’t played a lot of football. All that learning is very, very useful. I think this is the right next step in his career, and that’s why he’s so committed to the club now.
“We need to get the right balance between players in the first phase of their development, as well as those that are starting to hit the peak in their career. In Gabby’s case, for a striker it is still very early at 25, but he started really early too so all that experience is going to be very beneficial.”
As well as plenty of pedigree, Jesus’ ability to play as a centre-forward, false nine or on either side of a front three was something else that attracted him to Arteta, and that versatility is something that the Spaniard admits he is excited to exploit as he aims to add an extra dimension to his attack.
“We have a very, very dynamic team up front. We have three or four players who can play in various positions, and play with each other in different positions. We want to be unpredictable, but at the same time we want to be specific in certain areas, to achieve certain qualities that we didn’t have in the squad, and with Gabi I think we are doing both of those at the same time.”
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