Arsenal: Gabriel Jesus says Gunners move has allowed him to be 'free on the pitch'

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring a goal against Leicester City on 13 August, 2022
(Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Gabriel Jesus has told of how much he's enjoying his football at Arsenal (opens in new tab), saying that he feels "free" in Mikel Arteta's side.

The Brazil (opens in new tab) striker, 25, joined the Gunners this summer in a £45m switch from Manchester City (opens in new tab).

And, he's explained the reason behind his decision to leave the Premier League champions this summer.

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring a goal against Brentford on 18 September, 2022

Jesus was on target as Arsenal won 3-0 at Brentford last time out (Image credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Speaking to ESPN Brasil, Jesus said (opens in new tab): "The thing was the way [City manager Pep Guardiola] understands football and what he wanted. Then it was up to you to accept it or not. If you don't accept it, 'thank you' and let's go for another challenge.

"I accepted it for a while, but there came a moment when I said: 'I want another thing for myself.' I thanked [Guardiola] ... he understood and we moved on."

It would appear that Jesus had grown frustrated at regularly being deployed out wide at City, rather than in his preferred centre-forward role.

Close-up of Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus lining up before a match

World Cup hopes: Jesus will be keen to secure his seat on the plane to Qatar this winter (Image credit: Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

But under Arteta – who worked with Jesus while part of Guardiola's City coaching staff – the 25-year-old has thrived in his preferred centre-forward role.

"I talked a lot with Arteta about Arsenal's style," Jesus continued. He knows me; I know him; I understood what he wanted from me. Now, I'm free on the pitch, playing football with a smile on my face and trying to do my best all the time."

An instant hit with Gunners fans, Arsenal's new number nine has scored four goals and provided three assists in his first eight appearances in all competitions.

Jesus was a surprise omission from the Brazil squad for this month's friendlies against Ghana (opens in new tab) and Tunisia (opens in new tab), but Selecao boss Tite has acknowledged his "great form" and admitted (opens in new tab) that he "is in the running" to go to the World Cup – which gets underway in 51 days' time.

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