Arsenal have completed the signing of Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus on a long-term contract from Premier League champions Manchester City.
The fee for the 25-year-old is understood to be £45m and he moves to the Emirates after undergoing a medical and agreeing personal terms. Jesus will wear the No 9 shirt recently vacated by Alexandre Lacazette, who left for Lyon on a free transfer.
The north London club put in nearly six months of work with Jesus’ representative Marcello Pettinati to ensure they were in pole position to recruit him from City this summer.
Arsenal technical director Edu said: “We are delighted that we have secured the transfer of Gabriel. Everyone who knows football well, knows the qualities of Gabriel Jesus.
“Gabriel is a player who we have admired for a long time now. He is 25 years old and an established Brazil international who has consistently demonstrated that he is a player at a very high level. We look forward to seeing him join up with his new teammates ahead of the new season. We all welcome Gabriel to Arsenal.”
Mikel Arteta added: “I’m very excited. The club has done a tremendous job to recruit a player of this stature. I know Gabriel personally very well, and we all know him well from his time in the Premier League and being really successful here.
“This is a position that’s been on our radar for a long time now and we have managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.”
Jesus indicated his desire to move to the Gunners at the start of June and reunite with Mikel Arteta, who would regularly offer individual coaching and advice when serving as assistant to Pep Guardiola.
Arsenal’s strength of pursuit, the fact they were desperately in need of an attacker in his mould, and the opportunity for Jesus to assume more responsibility appealed to him.
The arrival of Jesus and the extension of Eddie Nketiah’s contract means the Gunners have options in the centre-forward role, with the north Londoners also welcoming Folarin Balogun back after his loan at Championship club Middlesbrough in the second half of last season.
Arteta and Arsenal let Lacazette leave the club when his contract expired at end of June, while they also allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang join Barcelona on a free transfer on Transfer Deadline Day last January.
More to follow…
Is Jesus the right fit for Arsenal?
Sky Sports’ Alan Smith:
“This is not the finished article that Mikel Arteta is buying but there is a big potential for him to get better.
“He’s still young and he fits the profile that Arteta is trying to build in this Arsenal squad.
“He’s still hungry as a player and he’ll want to prove himself after being in and out of the Man City team, and that hunger is vital for Arteta because he’s got a squad of young players that do want to achieve in the game. Jesus will be no different.
“There is not a lot out there that you can get hold of, short of spending £100m-plus. Also, a lot of the top clubs would be after a player of that quality.
“So, I think Jesus is a very good signing for Arsenal and I think he fits with what Arteta is trying to do.”
More from former Gunners striker Alan Smith:
“It’s definitely a coup for Arsenal. Jesus committed his best years to Arsenal.
“The good thing about Arsenal’s recruitment now is that they are signing players without too much media fanfare. For example, we did hear about Jesus but when we did hear they were already quite far down the line in terms of securing his signature.
“Then there was Fabio Vieira from Porto. Nobody saw that one coming either and the best recruitment teams at clubs are able to do that. They do a lot of work behind the scenes, maybe even six months to a year in the build-up to signing a player, but they do it without too much fanfare or drama.
“That points to a department of the club that is really functioning well and it’s really encouraging that they have got that side of things working well because it was a bit of a mess a few years back. Now Edu and Arteta are on the same page, they agree what is needed and that relationship is vital.”
Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:
“Jesus is the big one. I’m a big fan, I like him,” said Merson. “Pep Guardiola played him in a lot of big matches – he trusts him. He’s a centre-forward who wants to score goals.
“People say he misses chances but everybody misses chances. The name of the game is when you miss a chance, you’re not scared to get back into the box and miss another one, and he’s definitely one of those players.
“I like what Arsenal have done to get that over the line. I think they’re in for a good season. There’s a project going on and they’ll be fighting for fourth place with Man United and Tottenham. If they can get into the Champions League and have a good cup run – the Europa is winnable – with the squad they’re building they’ve got a chance of getting some silverware this season.
“I like what [Edu and Mikel Arteta] are doing. They’ve got to get in the top four sooner rather than later.”
“Gabriel Jesus is a player who has a lot of talent and a lot of potential, but he needs to have more playing time in order to gain confidence,” former Brazil international Ze Roberto tells Sky Sports.
“The mentality Pep Guardiola has is to rotate his whole team and give opportunities to every player, but I believe the best version of Gabriel Jesus is when he is motivated and playing consistently.
“When a player like Gabriel is in the team then out of it, it is very difficult for him to have stability and find confidence. I think it is always going to be difficult for that to change at Manchester City.”
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Arsenal will start their 2022/23 Premier League campaign away at Crystal Palace on August 5, live on Friday Night Football.
Mikel Arteta’s side, who finished fifth in the Premier League last term, will then host Leicester City on August 13 before travelling to newly-promoted Bournemouth on August 20.
The Gunners’ first north London derby will take place at Emirates Stadium on October 1, while the return game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is early into the new year on January 14.
Arsenal’s final game before the season pauses for the winter World Cup will be away to Wolves on the weekend of November 12/13. They will then return to action on Boxing Day, entertaining West Ham.
The final day of the Premier League season is on May 28, where Arsenal will close out their campaign at home to Wolves.