Gabriel Jesus insists he is a ‘number nine’ who wants to play as a striker under Mikel Arteta after his transfer from to Arsenal was confirmed on Monday morning.
The Brazil international has agreed to make the switch from the Etihad to the Emirates after City accepted a bid of around £45m from the Gunners, and will be tasked with reinvigorated his new club’s attack after the departures of in January and earlier this summer.
City had already brought in two new forwards this summer in from Borussia Dortmund and Julian Alvarez of River Plate, meaning Jesus was facing limited opportunities under Pep Guardiola, having failed to nail down a starting place in the City team since his transfer from Palmeiras in 2017.
Jesus was originally kept out of the City side by Sergio Aguero, before Guardiola’s preference for a striker-less system in the title winning 2021/22 season meant team-mate including Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne were often preferred in the centre of the attack.
Guardiola did often use Jesus in high profile matches, but those appearances frequently saw him deployed on the right wing rather than down the middle, and he failed to hit double figures in terms of Premier League goals in his past two season at Eastlands.
Now, the 25-year-old insists he can serve Arsenal best as a traditional striker.
‘I’m a number nine,’ said Jesus when asked about where he will play for . ‘I’m a striker and I thank God every day that I can be alive, and that I can play in three or four different positions – but I think my position is nine.
‘My best qualities are being on the pitch to help with or without the ball. Of course, I’m a striker and I have to score goals, and I’ve come to score goals and to help with assists and my work. But obviously, I want to score goals.’
Jesus is Arsenal’s fourth signing of the summer, after midfielder Fabio Vieira arrived from FC Porto, right winger Marquinhos from Sao Paolo, and goalkeeper Matt Turner from New England Revolution.
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