Arsenal have high hopes for Gabriel Jesus. The Gunners missed out on a place in the Champions League and are yet to see great rivals Tottenham battling for the top prize this season. Gabriel Jesus was brought in to return to the top four of the Premier League next season.
Arsenal transferred a reported 52 million euros to Manchester City for the Brazilian. The 25-year-old is said to bring the winning mentality from the Citizens that Arsenal lacked in the crucial phase last season. And above all contribute one thing: goals. SPOX and GOAL were the first mediums in the world to conduct an interview with Gabriel Jesus after he signed the contract. The goalscorer spoke about his goals with Arsenal, his coach Mikel Arteta and revealed his most unpleasant opponent.
Gabriel Jesus, why did you switch to Arsenal? What does the club mean to you?
Gabriel Jesus: When I heard I had the opportunity to join Arsenal I was happy. It’s a big club with a big project. And when Edu (Edu Gaspar, Arsenal sporting director) explained to me what they were planning for the future, I was so excited that I really wanted to join Arsenal. Because I love the project, I want to win trophies. I want to win everything. That’s why I’m looking forward to moving to a big club with very good players.
Why do you think Arsenal’s style of play suits yours?
Gabriel Jesus: I’ve worked with Mikel Arteta before. So I think I know a little bit about his ideas. I think I know how he wants to play. It is very similar to Pep Guardiola. I think that fits well. I come to help the boys. And I will also try to learn together with them. Like a family. I’m very happy with the group here. It was nice to see everyone when I came to the club on the first day. It’s a big family here. We’ll play well, train well and at the end of the season I’m pretty sure we’ll win something.
You mentioned Mikel Arteta. He was Pep Guardiola’s assistant manager at Manchester City. You know him very well. How important was he in your decision to join Arsenal?
Gabriel Jesus: Very important. Because in my life I’ve always liked projects to look forward to. When Edu came to talk to me, I was very enthusiastic about the association’s ideas. The path they want to go, the things they want to do. I was pretty sure then that I would come to Arsenal. But after speaking to Mikel Arteta, I was 100 percent sure. Because I have faith in him. Because I have faith in this big club. And I also trust in myself and the players. Because there is a lot of talent here. Very good players. And young players. Like me, I’m still young. We’re all in this together. Like a family. That’s what I want.
What are your goals with Arsenal for the coming season?
Gabriel Jesus: First of all: adapting myself. Adapt to the club, adapt to the players. The way they play, how they are. I am new here. So I have to adapt. That’s the most important. And after that, everything else will fall into place. I think that’s football. Football is the same everywhere. And at the end of the season I want to win something. win trophies. Like everyone here at Arsenal. It’s the only way to immortalize myself in the history of this great club.
Gabriel Jesus: “Thierry Henry is one of a kind”
As No9 you were signed to score goals: How many goals can you score in your first season for Arsenal?
Gabriel Jesus: As many as possible. I’ll be there: 99 minutes a game in the penalty area, trying to score goals, trying to help. Not only with goals, but also with assists. Shield the ball. To run. That’s my style: never give up! Help my team, help my teammates. That’s just how I am!
Arsenal have created numerous legends: who do you think is the greatest and most important player in the history of this club?
Gabriel Jesus: I think there is a lot. But for me as a striker, it’s Thierry Henry. Because he’s a legend. He is the history of this club. When you say Arsenal, you mean Thierry Henry. But I don’t want to be the new Thierry Henry. I want to make my own name in the history of this club. Because Thierry Henry is unique. No one is like the other. But Thierry Henry was an incredible player because he’s one of the greatest players of all time.
Thierry Henry was a striker, you are a striker. Who was the toughest defender you’ve had to play against?
Gabriel Jesus: There were many. I’ve played against a lot of very good defenders but I would go for Thiago Silva. Because he’s a bit annoying on the pitch, he’s always pushing you, talking to you. So, yes, it’s Thiago Silva.
You play alongside Thiago Silva in the Brazilian national team. How important is the World Cup in winter for you personally when you think about the coming season? What can Brazil achieve in Qatar?
Gabriel Jesus: I was at the 2018 World Cup and I felt this atmosphere there. For me, the World Cup is the biggest competition on the planet. I could feel what the World Cup means. I already knew because I’m Brazilian and we live for the World Cup. But once I was there, I could really feel it. And now I’m a bit more experienced. But as Brazilians we just want to play, enjoy football and try to win. We’ve had a lot of great players in the past. And every year there are new players in Brazil because that’s who we are. I want to go there with the Brazilian national team and try to win. That’s the only way to go down in Brazilian history too.