Gabriel Jesus believes he’s back to the old Gabriel now, after an impressive start to life with Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side.
Gabriel Jesus is Arsenal’s marquee signing for the summer window so far, putting some pressure on him to perform this season.
That pressure was eased by his start to pre-season, as he scored seven goals in five games including against Chelsea and Sevilla. But the question remained whether he could replicate that kind of form in the new Premier League campaign.
After an encouraging but goalless debut, Jesus went on to score two and assist two in his first competitive game for Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, a 4-2 win over Crystal Palace.
Speaking after that game, the striker said he feels like he’s now returning to his best.
“I feel like I’m back to being the Gabriel from before,” Jesus said. “Thinking that I am the number 9, that I’m there to finish, to help, not to only score goals as well. I’m back.
“As I’ve said before, I’m a little bit like a ‘Varzea’ player. I’m not a robot that stays put, I move, I want to fight, want to compete.
“Today, I almost scored with a great ball from Aaron Ramsdale, I fought and almost got the goal. And that is the Gabriel (from before).”
Having said all that, Gabriel was also keen to insist that he isn’t putting down his time with Manchester City.
“I was not unhappy at Manchester City,” he explained. “I just wanted to play and the club understood.”
So far, it looks like Jesus’ desires to get a fresh start elsewhere were well founded.
No one in the Premier League has more goals and assists from the opening two games, and his spot in the Brazilian national team must be looking pretty secure right now. He just has to keep it going.