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‘I’m playing with a smile on my face’- Gabriel Jesus reveals reason for leaving Manchester City and Pep Guardiola for Arsenal

Arsenal sit at top of the Premier League table after seven games.

Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus was one of the most high-profile players to make a switch in the recent transfer window. The Brazilian striker went from Premier League winners Manchester City to the North London club Arsenal following a £45 million deal in July 2022.

Jesus’s move came after a five-year spell at Manchester City where the 25-year-old could not cement his position in the starting XI. Under mercurial coach, Pep Guardiola, Jesus kept sliding in and out of the team as per the requirement of the coach. Even darker clouds were cast over his importance in the team after contract negotiations with young sensation Erling Haaland began. Seeing his significance at the club fading away, Jesus decided to move on and that’s how he ended up at the London club Arsenal.

In a recent interview with ESPN Brasil, the 25-year-old striker opened up on his life at Manchester City and Arsenal. Revealing his reasoning behind the move he said, “The thing was the way [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 him, he understood, and we moved on.”

Explaining the difference between life at Arsenal and City, Jesus went on to add, “It is different here at Arsenal. The football is different – different players, different ways to play. At City, it was different. The striker didn’t touch the ball that much, you see this by watching the games.

“And, when it was time to touch the ball, it was not the striker, because [Guardiola] ended up putting a midfielder to come closer. OK, fine. So, I decided to change.”

Gabriel Jesus further revealed how a chat with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta cemented his decision, saying, “I talked a lot with Arteta about Arsenal’s style. 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.”

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