Mikel Arteta made it clear to the club hierarchy that he was incredibly keen on a reunion with the Brazilian international after Jesus enjoyed his best season at the Etihad during Arteta’s final campaign as an assistant to Pep Guardiola. The entire transfer has been a poorly kept secret from both sides.
The Gunners agreed on personal terms with the player last week but were yet to reach an agreement with City over the transfer fee. Once that was rectified, it was plain-sailing and Arsenal have landed the man they hope will fire them back into the Champions League.
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.”
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.”
The Brazilian will wear the number nine shirt at Arsenal, which has been worn by some of the finest forwards in north London and was left vacated by the recently departed Alexandre Lacazette. Jesus will be keen to prove he is more than capable of harbouring the responsibility of donning the number.
The 25-year-old’s switch to Arsenal represents the first time he can truly be labelled the main man after having to deputise or play different roles behind City’s previous first-choice striker Sergio Aguero. More recently, City splashed out on both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to ensure Jesus would have had two more players to contend with in the pecking order.
At the Emirates, Jesus will expect to feature in most games and can consider himself Arsenal’s first-choice forward. Excitement over the move rose to new levels once pictures emerged of Jesus embracing the Gunners technical director Edu as he got out of a blacked-out car thought to be parked at the club’s London Colney training base.
The striker leaves City after five years in the blue half of Manchester in which he contributed some vital, memorable goals. Jesus’ name will forever be etched into City history for his late, delicate lobbed goal against Southampton that sealed the club’s fate as the Premier League’s first-ever centurions.
Arsenal will be hoping more memorable moments await him in the famous red and white. Jesus will be aiming to repay the kind of faith those at the top of the Gunners hierarchy have placed in him.
Arteta’s transfer plans do not stop with Jesus. Leeds United winger Raphinha and Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez have both been the subject of bids from the 14-time FA Cup winners, the latter on two occasions.