Mikel Arteta defends Gabriel Jesus with Arsenal striker at risk of Premier League ban

Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 27, 2022 in St Albans, England.


Mikel Arteta has come to the defence of striker Gabriel Jesus as Arsenal's top scorer runs the risk of picking up a suspension in this weekend's north London derby.

The Brazilian frontman has scored four goals since arriving from Manchester City, helping the Gunners climb to the top of the Premier League table after seven matches. He has also earned four bookings, though, and another against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday would rule him out of the important Premier League game at home to Liverpool on October 9.

Arteta suggested his team had been unlucky with some of the cards shown to the 25-year-old. However, he maintained it is in Jesus' nature to play the way he does.

“There is a thin balance,” Arteta told the media in his pre-match press conference. “It is in his nature. He gets a lot of contact and he puts his foot and his body across the line in any situation.

“We’ve been a bit unlucky with the amount of bookings he has had. Some of them we cannot prevent because they were a little bit disciplinary, the yellow cards, but yeah, we want to avoid that.”

After staying out of trouble in Arsenal’s first two games of the season, Gabriel Jesus picked up his first booking at his new club in the August victory over Bournemouth. Three more followed in the next four league games, including last time out against Brentford.

Arsenal go into their first north London derby of the season sitting one point ahead of their opponents. Spurs will go top with a victory, but three points for Arteta’s team would ensure they end the weekend top of the league regardless of Manchester City’s result against Manchester United on Sunday.

The manager also used the press conference to shed more light on the signing of Jesus, who was also targeted by Tottenham before choosing to join the Gunners. Technical director Edu also had a role in sealing the deal, which set Arsenal back £45m.

“Edu had a talk with him to describe what the project was, what our club is about and the role he would have in our club,” Arteta explained. “I spoke to him too so it was a team effort and he clearly understood what we wanted to do.

“The relationship that we have with him [from their time together at Manchester City] helped a lot because there is a trust and that connection already, and then it is completely up to the player to decide. We were really hopeful and his immediate reaction was extremely positive. After that there are a lot of steps that have to go in the right direction to finalise and get a player to sign for the club, but to be fair Gabby made it pretty easy for us.”

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post