Expert shares emphatic Gabriel Jesus claim after pre-season Arsenal development
Noel Whelan has insisted Gabriel Jesus could “take Arsenal to the next level” after his goalscoring streak in pre-season.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed Mikel Arteta has changed the 25-year-old’s role since signing him from Man City earlier this summer.
Jesus scored a hattrick during a 6-0 friendly win over Sevilla on 30 July – taking his pre-season tally to seven goals.
The Brazil international joined Arsenal last month for a reported fee of £45million, signing a five-year deal at the Emirates Stadium.
Jesus notched 13 goals and 12 assists for Man City last term as Pep Guardiola’s side lifted the Premier League – but would often play off the left or right flank.
Whelan suggested his goalscoring exploits are a result of Arteta deploying the striker solely in the 18-yard box.
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He claimed Jesus could take Arsenal “to the next level” after last season’s fifth-place finish.
Whelan told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “It’s such a wise signing.
“Now we’ve seen the pre-season games, we can see exactly why Mikel Arteta has signed him. He’s keeping him nice and high up the pitch.
“I always felt he did a lot of work outside of the box at Man City, because that’s the style they play.
“But he’s a natural goalscorer, and we’re now seeing just how good he can be if you keep him in that 18-yard box.
“If he gets the service, he could be a player that takes Arsenal to the next level.”
Jesus will make his official Arsenal debut against Crystal Palace on Saturday (5 August).
He scored 95 goals in 233 games during his five-and-a-half-year spell at Man City.