Mikel Arteta has hailed Gabriel Jesus after his impressive Arsenal debut, insisting their new No9 gives the Gunners a real “fear factor”.
Jesus, a £45million arrival from Manchester City earlier this summer, was in excellent form at Selhurst Park on Friday night as Arsenal continued their pre-season momentum and opened the 2022-23 Premier League campaign with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
While he may not have got off the mark in competitive action after his sublime seven-goal streak in friendlies, the Brazilian international nevertheless provided Palace’s defence with a real headache, enjoying an excellent first half as he ran at the backline, showed his link-play and silky footwork whilst also providing a real focal point through the middle.
Jesus also showed his determination to win possession back for Arsenal high up the pitch after half-time, muscling Marc Guehi – whose late own goal would go on to seal Arsenal’s victory – off the ball and laying on a fantastic chance for new captain Martin Odegaard, who hesitated when he should have let fly from inside the penalty area.
To our travelling away fans…
Your energy and support was 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 tonight! ⚡
Thank you and see you on Saturday ❤️ pic.twitter.com/lozrqTjwBP
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 5, 2022
Asked after the match how big a difference the 25-year-old will make to his revamped attack, Arteta told Sky Sports: “The fear factor. He’s always on your shoulder, the ball is bouncing, that 50-50 ball. He’s always had that intuition, that ability to get the ball off you.
“He’s never standing still, he’s always on the move. He’s always ready to act. He’s so sharp and for defenders it’s difficult to play against him.”