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Is it better to be first at Arsenal than second at Man City? All about the transfer of Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus

Even before the start of pre-season training, London Arsenal made a top transfer. Gabriel Jesus is moving from Manchester City to the capital – a forward who won five championship titles in six full seasons of his professional career.

We decided to tell about this transfer from all possible angles.

Why Man City is ready to say goodbye to the player?

City can declare the Premier League as the main goal of each season as much as they like (Soriano recently made such a statement, Kevin de Bruyne previously said the same), but it is clear that the final demonstration of the success of the club’s project requires victory in the Champions Cup. It is needed by Guardiola, who actually started his career with two “burdock” wins, but he has been waiting for a new victory for 11 years. It is needed by the players, the only owner of the Cup of which is Scott Carson. But most of all, it is needed by the management, which over the years has spent more than a billion precisely in order to prove itself at the world level. Why, in the end, make ultra-expensive purchases every summer, if the championship obeyed the old team?

Actions this offseason show that the club is willing to simplify the game a bit for the sake of the trophy. The average distance from which Holland scores goals is 12 meters, his playing trump card is precisely the ability to win the fight. Walker is available for the right flank, and Cukurella is practically purchased for the left wing.

Manchester City finished the 2021/22 season as the leader in all possible passes from the half-wing area. The half-flanks are generally the quintessence of Guardiola’s smart play: it is from there that de Bruyne, sometimes Cancelo, and sometimes Zinchenko opened up the defense with passes. But transfers like Cucurella and Holland should improve City’s position in a classic British component of the game: passing from the wing. By the way, there is no need to buy anyone to play on the right wing: there is Kyle Walker, whose contract is still valid for two years.

The main thing is that it does not turn out that the best is the enemy of the good. After all, with the existing model of the game, City won four championships in five years in the most difficult league in the world. Will the club be able to dominate at the same level when it has a pronounced leader in the attack and a game model that everyone understands?

Why is Jesus leaving the club?

We live in a time when players are associated with memes no less (and sometimes more) than with the best goals/saves/assists, etc. The main meme with the participation of Jesus is the picture in which in 2014 he was preparing the streets of the city for the home World Cup, and five years later, as the main option in the attack, he helped the Brazilian national team win the America’s Cup.

Jesus lives the life of a person for whom everything in life happens very quickly. At the age of 19, he became the champion of Brazil, who was bought by Man City himself as Aguero’s main competitor. At 20, he is the main player of the national team, who scored six goals in qualifying for the World Cup. And at 25, like a veteran who has won everything, he goes to play for his own pleasure.

Jesus’ last season was very good, especially when you look at it in context. Eight goals and the same number of assists in just 21 Premier League matches at the start is simply a great indicator. But when you’re a Brazilian national team player, the number of “just 21 starts” can be even more important than the number of goals and assists.

To put it simply, Jesus needs a guarantee of game practice to be sure of his chances to be the main player of the national team at the World Cup. The last five matches in the selection for the World Cup, Gabriel did not get into the starting lineup, and even if they were friendlies for the Brazilians (Brazil very quickly qualified for the World Cup), it cannot be ignored. All other stars – Neymar, Fabinho, Casemiro – played in them, and Gabriel has huge competition for any option in the attack.

But globally, it’s not even about the World Cup or the national team. Jesus, with all his huge background, is only 25 years old. He reached the peak of his career – the time when all the best football players play twice a week and show their maximum. With Holland, Gabriel would have to finally give in to his ambitions and turn into an unconditional subscriber of shells to the main star.

Is it better to be first at Arsenal than second at Man City? At least Jesus himself decided so. And this is not even the case when you can say about the player: “He will later regret this decision.” Jesus already has a solid handful of medals – even if he doesn’t win anything else in his club career, he will have something to cheer about. His case is a rare one when the player should think about himself and not about the team. You can’t go the way of Danny Welbeck, who was the most important team player at Ferguson’s Man Utd, but lost crucial development time there and now can’t confidently win the competition even at Brighton.

Why Arsenal?

Everything is quite obvious here. We live in a time when 45 million can cost some junior with no experience playing at the top level. And although this junior can really play (see the examples of “Vinicius Junior”, “Rodrigo”), it is much better when the player still has experience. Jesus has not only the experience in the Premier League, not only the experience of two games a week, but even the experience of working with Mikel Arteta. For almost three years, the Spaniard worked with Jesus in the status of Guardiola’s assistant – and this transition, of course, is partly due to his desire.

Aubameyang is no longer in the team. Lacazette – too. Nketiah – 7 goals in the Premier League under 23 – a sub-optimal option as a main option if you plan to fight for the top 14, let alone the top 4. All in all, reinforcements were needed, and for the amount available, Arsenal performed close to ideal.

However, there is a nuance here. Both in Man City and in the Brazilian national team, Jesus’ trump card was his versatility, his willingness to retrain from winger to striker and back again literally twice a week. In Arsenal, the very fact of trying to try him on the wing will already mean his local failure. The edges of the attack are perhaps the strongest positions in the team. Arteta, Arsenal, Emirates need the scorer Jesus.

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