Mikel Arteta says he’s surprised by how quickly Gabriel Jesus has settled at Arsenal but feels the striker will need more time to get used to his new surroundings and responsibilities.
The Brazil international has hit the ground running since joining the Gunners a month ago, whetting the appetite of supporters with seven goals in five pre-season friendlies.
It’s just as well. As Arsenal’s marquee signing of the summer and a player of considerable experience, Jesus faces a different kind of pressure at the Emirates compared to the Etihad where other members of Pep Guardiola’s squad hogged the limelight.
“When you bring top players, they are coming from top clubs and they have been extremely successful over the years, they’re going to expect that,” said Arteta in his pre-Palace press conference.
“The role that Gabby has here is going to be very different to the role that Gabby had in his previous club. That needs some adaptation and some time.
“He’s done it fantastically well and we’re all surprised how quickly he’s done it, but we have to share that responsibility and he’s an enormous talent, a player with a mentality that is so contagious and he’s going to give us a lot, but it’s a team contribution at the end of the day.”
Collective responsibility? You could say it’s not just Jesus’ cross to bear. Badum. Tish.
This time last year, according to a poll in The Athletic, only 42% of Arsenal supporters felt optimistic heading into the new season. The publication recently ran the same poll and that figure had jumped to a remarkable 97%.
Here are the results! pic.twitter.com/ZVg4BCmbST
— George Caulkin (@GeorgeCaulkin) August 5, 2022
While positive vibes can only be a good thing heading into a new season, the boss was quick to acknowledge that Gooners aren’t the only ones feeling optimistic.
“It’s great that people are excited,” he said. “But there is a big excitement across the Premier League because a lot of clubs have done a lot of business, getting stronger and stronger.
“The competition is really big, we focus on what we can do, what we want to do and we want to be at the top of the table.”
He added: “You try every day to be more excited and love your players more and feel more privileged of where you are.
“The more things you do that are related to the way you feel, and you share that feeling with the club like we do, then it comes a common thing.
“At the end it’s not about me, it’s about how we all feel about what we are doing, we all feel an integral part of it, especially our supporters, when we do that, I always say it becomes very, very powerful.”