15 Sep Arteta: Jesus signing ‘changed Arsenal’s world’
Jesus moved in a £45 million deal and breathed fresh life into the Gunners attack as they launched an unexpected title challenge before finishing five points behind champions Manchester City.
Jesus suffered a knee injury in December while playing for Brazil at the Qatar World Cup that sidelined him for more than three months and his start to the 2023-24 campaign was delayed after undergoing a second minor operation.
However, he scored as a late substitute in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Manchester United prior to the international break — his 12th goal in 35 appearances for the club — and is pushing to start Sunday’s Premier League trip to face Everton.
“If you look at the last six or seven months for Gabi, with the long-term injury he had and the amount of football that he missed, then he came back in preseason and he started to get his rhythm again — and then he had another injury, another surgery,” said Arteta.
“So we have to build him up. He is a tremendous player, a really important player for us. He changed our world last season. You could all see that. He is going to be a really important player for us.
“I think he brought a different energy, a different belief, a different threat, a different fear to opponents. And he did it in a really natural way. He contributed hugely to the step that we had last season.”
Arteta has previously described Jesus as a player who “creates chaos” and the Spaniard, who coached Jesus during his three years under Pep Guardiola at City, continued: “In certain areas of the pitch, I love it. In other areas, I hate it. So it’s where you produce that chaos. He obviously draws a lot of attention from opponents with the way he plays and creates space for others. That’s a big quality of his.
“When you sign a player that you know, who has done it in the league and has the hunger and right reasons to join us, it was a no brainer for us to do it. And you could see the impact he had on the team straight away.”