Mikel Arteta says the intensity with which Gabriel Jesus leads the forward line is ‘phenomenal’ and it acts as an example to his teammates.
The Brazil international rounded off an impressive pre-season campaign with a hat-trick against Sevilla as Arsenal routed the Spanish side 6-0 with a high-intensity game that forced mistakes from their opponents.
It’s a style of play that Arteta hopes his side can implement consistently this season with all his players doing their bit.
“What [people] are seeing is that everybody, not just Gabby, plays at that intensity and that willingness to win the ball, to promote mistakes and to play in the opponent’s half as much as possible,” he said in his post-game press conference on Saturday.
“You cannot do that if players at the front are walking, they are not tracking, they don’t have that instinct and that intention to provoke things that we want and Gabby is phenomenal at that.”
On what Jesus brings to the team, he added: “His versatility is well known. Now we are using him as a nine, he can play as a winger, off the left and the right.
“You can play with two strikes as we have done in pre-season as well and change the shape a little bit. He gives us a lot of flexibility.”
Signed from Manchester City for £45 million less than a month ago, it’s been a whirlwind few weeks for the 25-year-old.
Arsenal supporters were hoping he’d hit the ground running and so far he’s not disappointed.
“You are hoping that that is going to happen,” said Arteta. “Obviously a player has to adapt to a new city, to a new club, new teammates and he’s done it in a really fast and natural way.
“You can see the way they [his teammates] look for him on the pitch, on and off the ball, and what he’s able to transmit as well on that pitch so I am really happy.”
Fellow Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli is clearly impressed by what he’s seen. The pair now have four months of domestic football to hone a partnership that they can then potentially take to the world stage at Qatar 2022.
“For me, he (Jesus) is one of the best strikers in the world,” Martinelli told The Athletic.
“I am happy to have him here and it is a pleasure to play with him. I hope I give a lot of assists for him and we go to the national team together.
“Me and Gabi [Magalhaes] were always saying to him, ‘Come to Arsenal’ and you can see what he is doing now.
“Of course, he knows how to win. He’s going to be important for us this season not just scoring goals but giving us advice as well.”