Saturday, August 20, 2022

Gabriel Jesus transfer: Arsenal set to acquire Manchester City striker in deal close to $55 million

Arsenal are close to securing a new striker after reaching a deal with Manchester City for Gabriel Jesus. After the two teams agreed on a deal on a transfer fee close to $55 million, the player and London-based club have reached an agreement on personal terms, according to CBS Sports soccer insider Fabrizio Romano. His contract is expected to be until the summer of 2027. 

It has been a busy summer for Arsenal as Jesus becomes their third summer signing along with Marquinhos and Fabio Vieira. Matt Turner has also officially joined from the New England Revolution. If things go through, Jesus will reunite with Mikel Arteta who was an assistant coach with Manchester City from 2016 until 2019 when he joined Arsenal. Jesus’ familiarity with Arteta and route to the starting XI helped outweigh Arsenal not being able to provide Champions League soccer.

The Gunners are still in the mix for completing more deals as they chase Raphinha and Youri Tielemans. After collapsing down the stretch, Arteta’s squad will be strengthened with the expectation to secure Champions League soccer this season. Arsenal have already moved on from Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette while signing Eddie Nketiah to a contract extension.

Manchester City have deemed Jesus to be surplus to requirements after adding significant firepower in Erdling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to bolster the attack. With one year left on his contract, City will be able to cash in on Jesus who has made 236 total appearances for the club scoring 95 goals and assisting on 37 more. Even after Jesus found his minutes limited, he was able to produce for City but leading the line at Arsenal will be a tougher proposition.

Due to familiarity, Arteta already knows what to expect and Jesus should get excellent service in the box from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Vieira, and whoever else lines up in the attack. Among forwards, Jesus was ninth in interceptions despite playing fewer minutes than most of the players ahead of him. A willing presser, Jesus will fit right in with Arsenal’s style while also finishing his chances better than Lacazette did.

While Chelsea and Tottenham were also interested, a chance at more playing time outweighed the lack of Champions League soccer. Instead, Arsenal will be among the favorites to win the Europa League and that does count for something. Jesus’ spot for Brazil should not be in jeopardy heading into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

It’s certainly a lot of money for Arsenal to spend on a forward but Jesus was likely the most proven forward in their range. Jonathan David was another name that they were linked to but a less than stellar end to the season saw him score only three goals in 2022 causing interest to dip. Taking into account acclimating to play in the Premier League, and the price that Lille would want, adding David would be a much riskier proposition.

Knowing that Jesus can do it in the Premier League is worth the tax that Manchester City imposed. Arteta having coached Jesus in the past and his ability to play on the wings only sweetens the deal. But with how much money Arsenal have already put on the table for transfers, it’s now or never for Arteta to show that he’s the man for the job.

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