Gabriel Jesus has admitted he long harboured doubts about his ability to play as a number 9, but says his arrival at Arsenal has reignited his self-belief.
He went through the 2018 World Cup in that position for Brazil without scoring a goal, something which has stayed with him since, and at Man City he was often used in wide positions by Pep Guardiola.
However, he was brought to Arsenal on the basis that he would play at centre-forward, and after a great pre-season, he exploded into life on his home debut with two goals and two assists.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil afterwards, he said, “It’s normal to think that I can’t play as a 9, that I’m a winger.
“Obviously, due to the circumstances that happened after the Cup, I ended up playing more at the wing in the Seleção and at City as well.
“I had this in my head for a long time. Now I have a different mindset and I believe in myself much more.
“I went back to being the usual Gabriel, thinking that I’m a 9, that I’m there to finish, to help, of course not just to score goals.
“I went back to being what I was before, I am no longer that robot that used to be there [at City].”
It tallies with comments made by Edu when he spoke about the capture of the Brazilian earlier in the summer.
Speaking to The Athletic (£), he explained the conversation he had with the 25 year old, saying, “Gabriel, I’m here to try to sign you, but not the Gabriel from this season, I want the Gabriel from the other seasons because this season you’ve not played the way I know you.
“You’ve lost your shine. When I see you this season, I’m not seeing you as before because I know you very well. I want the Gabriel from last season because again you have to be Gabriel’.
“He looked at me and said: ‘You’re right’.”
So far, so good.