Well it finally went and happened – Gabriel Jesus is a Gunner!
Over the line. Sorted. Done. Finished. He’s ours and we can all exhale, enjoy the pictures, the interviews, then start projecting how this guy will kick on to the next level of his career at The Arsenal.
I am hopeful. Hopeful of better contribution than both Lacazette and Aubameyang combined last season, which was 13 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. That’s the absolute base level he has to achieve and I think he will. And that will make us better. HE will make us better. He adds running power, an intensive press and a drive that was sorely lacking in Laca. He will hopefully not be gassed after 45 minutes. He’ll link others in to play whilst also having the drive and desire to score goals himself.
He’ll be versatile too. He’ll be able to play across the front three and if we need to he can slot in wide right or left, with somebody like Eddie Nketiah who can hopefully kick on and get more game time next season and more goals too. He’s more like the kind of Swiss army knife player we’re starting to realise Arteta likes. If Saka is injured, no problem, because Jesus can go there and Eddie can play up top. Eddie not in form? No problem, then keep Gabriel Jesus up top and play Vieira wide right. Vieira still adapting? Fine, then we’ll play Martinelli or Smith Rowe on that right hand side. On the left you can apply the same logic. No Smith Rowe and Martinelli due to injury? That’s frustrating but ok, let’s have Gabriel Jesus wide left, Nketiah through the middle and Saka on the right. Looking to have players that switch positions in games to confuse defenders looking to go touch-tight on a designated man? Absolutely fine, as we can rotate the likes of Martinelli and Jesus in the side. In fact, I think we might see a bit more of that next season. Martinelli shouting across in Portuguese to Gabriel Jesus that he thinks they should switch for five minutes and see if Jesus gets joy out wide and if Martinelli can pull one of the defenders out there.
This is the kind of chess I like to see from my football team. We need to be able to surprise teams. We need to be able for teams to be not 100% sure of how we will set up and we need to be able to switch styles, approach and players even a few times during games. Players like Gabriel Jesus will be able to offer that along with the lads we’ve already got and I am absolutely here for it.
Arteta spoke in glowing terms yesterday, but for me what I found most interesting was when he started talking about the type of player we have in terms of his experience. He specifically referenced that Jesus is a different guy to the one that he started working with and that he now had levels of experience that have helped him come very far. But for me what was most interesting was when Arteta was talking about his age and experience. Arteta spoke about how, at 25, he is one of the experienced players given how much football he has played and he referenced that the team needed that type of experience. He talked about balance and how in a team you need more balance of experience. We all saw the stats, we all looked at the average age charts with Arsenal at the lowest average age last season and we all saw last summer how we were completely flipping the composition of our team to be a very young team. But Arteta has – throughout last season – fed in snippets of information to suggest that this summer would not be about continuing to go all in on young players. And this interview about Gabriel Jesus shows that. He has bought a guy relatively young for a striker, with plenty of years ahead of him, but somebody who has many minutes of football under his belt and so will add more experience to our team, in the same way that Odegaard did last season, despite being in his early 20s.
And I think this admission by Arteta also explains these Sergej Milenkovic-Savic rumours from Lazio. I don’t watch Italian football or know anything about him, but I do know that by the sounds of his profile, it might go some way to explaining what Arteta is talking about when he talks about balance of youth and experience. This is a guy who, at 27, sounds like he’s ready for a move and as a midfielder in his prime and at an experienced age, it would make sense for us to be looking at him. The rumours appear to be Italian based in terms of origin, which already means they are already probably quite improbable, but it would make sense to be interested in a player like that. Apparently tall, athletic and very good on the ball, the question most of us would have would be about the transition from the sleepy pace of Serie A to the physically demanding Premier League, which is where I’d have my slight worries. The fee is high too. I’d question whether we still have that in the transfer kitty.
Which is why I’m still confused why we haven’t just wrapped up the Tielemans move. Alright, apparently Youri is a little more lightweight than Milenkovic-Savic, but he’s already proven he can do it in the Premier League. There would be no adaptation period and most of us can see exactly where he slots in. Does Milenkovic-Savic fit the left eight role as well? Not sure. But that is because I have my Premier League biases and I have always liked the sound of Tielemans. Especially at The Arsenal. It just feels like a good move and one that would work for us. And at £25million? No brainer.
Anyhoo, I’ll leave that there for the day. Have yourselves a grand ol’ Tuesday and I’ll see thee in the morrow.
apparently he is an absolute baller, heard many references how good he is, is said to be a massive upgrade on xhaka as opposed to tielemans where he is a small uograde