Gabriel Jesus transfer shows Arsenal can only sign cast-offs and kids

James Shearman 4 Jul 2022 11:19 BST 3 min read
Gabriel Jesus, Man City, 2021/22

Arsenal’s transfer spending spree continues with the arrival of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City, as they took their summer splurge to €99 million in total.

It is a move that shows how desperate the Gunners are to compete with the big boys.

Arsenal’s lack of prolific scorer last season severely hampered their push for a Champions League place, with leading league marksman Bukayo Saka getting only 11 goals.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left for Barcelona midway through the campaign and fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette was allowed to return to Lyon on a free transfer this summer after scoring just four league goals.

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Arsenal can only sign cast-offs and kids

Jesus managed eight goals and nine assists in the Premier League last season as City won the title, finishing 24 points clear of Arsenal.

For a player sometimes consigned to the bench, it made for a respectable return of a goal or assist every 110 minutes he played.

But City also created 87 big chances last season - which was a league second-best to Liverpool (97) and some 48 more than Arsenal managed under Mikel Arteta.

If Arteta is to emulate Arsene Wenger and get Arsenal back to the top of the table, he needs players who are going to move the needle.

Whilst Jesus is good, he might not be that man - if he was, Pep Guardiola would have given him more minutes than any of Sterling, Grealish, Phil Foden or Bernardo Silva in attacking positions; and he didn't.

Evidently, Arsenal can no longer attract the biggest clubs' best players. This summer they have signed American goalkeeper Matt Turner, Porto's Fabio Vieira and Brazilian teen Marquinhos.

In recent windows they have also generally signed youngsters and players who were disposable from bigger teams.

They will certainly need more than just Jesus if they want to be reborn.

Meanwhile, North London rivals Tottenham have been busy in the transfer market, and Chelsea have been linked with several high-profile names - not to mention City and Liverpool.

So, the Gunners' route back into the top four looks a difficult one, but one that is absolutely necessary before they can return to signing stars such as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

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