🦁 Premier League Player of the Week: Walking on water | OneFootball

🦁 Premier League Player of the Week: Walking on water

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OneFootball

Dan Burke

Round two of the 2022/23 Premier League season was another very interesting one indeed.

Our Player of the Week is …


Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)

There is a temptation when analysing Jesus’s start to life at Arsenal to fall into the trap of suggesting his time at Manchester City was unsuccessful.

Jesus arrived in Manchester as a 19-year-old who spoke no English and had barely spent any time outside Brazil, yet in his five seasons at the club he averaged a goal or an assist roughly every 101 minutes.

He did that while playing second fiddle to Sergio Agüero for the most part and even in Agüero’s absence, Pep Guardiola’s unforgiving rotation policy meant Jesus rarely got a long run in the team. At one point the young man also spoke about wanting to “shoot myself in the head” if he went a few games without scoring, such was the pressure he put himself under.

While he was never able to quite nail down a regular starting berth at centre-forward for City, he was a player who fans and team-mates appreciated greatly for his work-rate and quality on and off the ball, and it was a sad day when he said goodbye to the Etihad Stadium.

So no, his time at City was not unsuccessful, but there is a genuine sense that his move to Arsenal could be the step which truly unleashes his prodigious talent.

The signs looked promising when he scored a brace on his debut — a pre-season friendly against Nürnberg — and he would go on to net a total of seven goals in pre-season, whetting the appetite of his new supporters.

He didn’t find the net on the opening night of the Premier League season against Crystal Palace but he had the bit between his teeth and put in a great shift for the team. Whether he scores or not, you can always guarantee Jesus will work as hard as anyone on the pitch.

Then came his home Premier League bow in red and white on Saturday, and what a debut it was.

Two goals and two assists tells its own story, but it was the quality of the first goal which really captured the imagination.

Despite four Leicester defenders closing in on him, Jesus managed to find the top corner with a sublime bit of improvisation that nobody in the stadium saw coming.

His second goal was a lovely poacher’s finish, while he showed some nice awareness to set-up Granit Xhaka and then Gabriel Martinelli for Arsenal’s third and fourth.

It was a virtuoso display which had a little bit of everything, and it’s fair to say the Gunners faithful have fallen head over heels in love with their new signing already.

At the moment there are still questions about whether he can find a level of consistency that, despite his impressive numbers, he never quite found at his previous club, but time will tell.

There is a strong possibility that all he ever needed was to feel like the main man and if that’s how he feels at Arsenal, he could be a huge problem for everybody else in the Premier League and beyond.