New Arsenal signing Gabriel Jesus does not want to be the “main man” at the Emirates Stadium.
The Brazil international joined the Gunners from Manchester City earlier this month for a reported fee of around £45million and made a positive start at his new club, scoring three times in his first two appearances in pre-season.
Despite many believing the player’s desire to leave the Premier League champions was to take on a higher profile role at another club, Jesus has told reporters he does not want to be a “superstar”, insisting he just wants to enjoy playing football.
Speaking to reporters during Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the United States, Jesus said: “I don’t want to be the main man, I don’t want to be a superstar. I don’t want to do these things. I want to play football, this game. So why not play football, enjoy football, what I love to do, you know?
“I’ve come to help and to learn with the guys. There are amazing players here as well. So I’ve come to join a club where everyone’s going to win together.”
When asked why he chose to sign for Arsenal, the 25-year-old said: “First of all, it was when Edu [technical director] came to talk to me and asked me how I am, how I feel as a person, and then after as a football player on what I want in the future.
“So yeah, I think the conversation between me and Edu was amazing, because I was so happy with the project of the club. I was so happy to be at the club. And then I straight away said ‘yes, I think my way is in London.’”
Jesus spent six years at Man City, scoring 95 goals in 234 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side in all competitions.
Since he signed for City, excluding penalties and of players who have played 5,000+ minutes in this period, only Sergio Aguero (0.91) and Mohamed Salah (0.88) have a better goal involvement per 90 minutes in the Premier League than Jesus (0.81).
However, with the added competition of new arrivals Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez at the Etihad Stadium, Jesus has moved south in search of more regular game time, but said his final conversation with Guardiola was a positive one.
“It was a good conversation between me and [Guardiola], it was really good,” he said. “You know, I respect that because we have an amazing relationship because he called me when I was young in Brazil. And then I accepted and came to work with him.
“He’s one of the greatest managers of all-time, and yeah, I have a good relationship with him.”
His new manager, Mikel Arteta, worked with him during the Spaniard’s time as part of Guardiola’s backroom staff prior to being hired by Arsenal, and Arteta spoke of the “special energy” Jesus has brought already.
“He’s [always] with a smile on his face,” he told reporters. “He feels important, he’s bringing a special energy to the group.
“Obviously a big experience, because of the way he’s been managed, handled and the expectation he had to fulfil at City, and he’s doing it naturally like he is.”