Arteta: Jesus signing ‘changed Arsenal’s world’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said Gabriel Jesus “changed our world” after joining the club from Manchester City last summer and backed the striker to rediscover his best form.

Jesus moved in a £45 million deal and breathed fresh life into the Gunners attack as they launched an unexpected title challenge before finishing five points behind champions Manchester City.

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Jesus suffered a knee injury in December while playing for Brazil at the Qatar World Cup that sidelined him for more than three months and his start to the 2023-24 campaign was delayed after undergoing a second minor operation.

However, he scored as a late substitute in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Manchester United prior to the international break — his 12th goal in 35 appearances for the club — and is pushing to start Sunday’s Premier League trip to face Everton.

“If you look at the last six or seven months for Gabi, with the long-term injury he had and the amount of football that he missed, then he came back in preseason and he started to get his rhythm again — and then he had another injury, another surgery,” said Arteta.

“So we have to build him up. He is a tremendous player, a really important player for us. He changed our world last season. You could all see that. He is going to be a really important player for us.

“I think he brought a different energy, a different belief, a different threat, a different fear to opponents. And he did it in a really natural way. He contributed hugely to the step that we had last season.”

Arteta has previously described Jesus as a player who “creates chaos” and the Spaniard, who coached Jesus during his three years under Pep Guardiola at City, continued: “In certain areas of the pitch, I love it. In other areas, I hate it. So it’s where you produce that chaos. He obviously draws a lot of attention from opponents with the way he plays and creates space for others. That’s a big quality of his.

“When you sign a player that you know, who has done it in the league and has the hunger and right reasons to join us, it was a no brainer for us to do it. And you could see the impact he had on the team straight away.”


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