Mikel Arteta believes Gabriel Jesus will “set different standards at the club” following his arrival from Manchester City.
The Brazilian forward 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 signing.
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“I think the club have done a tremendous job to sign a player of that magnitude,” said the manager. “This is someone I know personally very well and we all know very well because he’s played in the league and he’s been really successful.
“It’s a position that’s been on our radar for a long time and we’ve managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.”
Having scored 95 goals in 236 appearances for City over six seasons, Jesus’ ability in front of goal will come as no surprise to anyone, but Arteta revealed there were plenty of other qualities that prompted him to switch to the 56-time striker, including a winner a mentality that will raise standards.
When reflecting on what Arsenal have recruited, he said: “I think it’s a package. Start with his character, face, smile and what he represents as a human being. Then he is an amazing professional, with his work ethic and enthusiasm. You will see him on the first day when he laces up his boots and steps onto the training pitch; he has the enthusiasm that he will create on this ground alone.
“And then there’s obviously his qualities, his anger to mark, his willingness to be coached, to improve. He is used to winning and knows that winning is the only way to do it. I think he will set different standards at the club.”
Arteta first started working with 19-year-old Jesus, fresh off the plane to England from his homeland in January 2017, so he is ideally suited to describe how he has developed from a player with potential to a proven goalscorer for the club and country.
“He was very different,” the manager said when pressed about his initial impressions. “He’s had so much experience over the last five or six years that has made him the player he is today. But from day one, he shows that passion, that anger and that determination every time he does something. That was what made him special.
“Now he has a different level of experience, he has won a lot but he has also gone through difficult times when he has not played much football. All this training is very, very useful. I think it’s the right next step in his career and that’s why he’s so committed to the club now.
“We need to get the balance right between players in the first phase of their development as well as those starting to reach the peak of their careers. In Gabi’s case, it’s still very early for a striker at 25, but he also started very early, so all that experience will be very useful.”
As well as an abundance of pedigree, Jesus’ ability to play as a centre-forward, a false nine or either side of a front three was something else that attracted him to Arteta, and this versatility is something the Spaniard admits he is excited to exploit as he looking 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 different 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 team, and with Gabi I think we do both at the same time. “
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