It turns out that it wasn’t just manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu who persuaded Gabriel Jesus to join Arsenal. In June, weeks before the 25-year-old’s arrival was finally confirmed, his namesake Gabriel Magalhaes was also involved in the incident.
‘Gabriel is a really good guy’, says the centre-back sky sports of his new teammate. “Of course it helps to have a connection with Brazil. When he was playing for the national team, we talked about his future and I said to him, ‘Come to Arsenal! Come to Arsenal! “said.”
“Maybe I had a little influence there.”
Gabriel jokingly says the last line. But if Jesus already feels at home in his new surroundings, and his explosive start to life at Arsenal suggests he does.
“He’s very focused and someone who really enjoys working hard,” adds Gabriel. “He’s here to improve the team and he’s already done it. He comes here with great expectations. He wants to achieve big things with Arsenal. He I think you can really help us.”
The former Manchester City striker, who took Arsenal to a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Friday, is now one of four Brazilians and, of course, three Gabriel players in Arsenal’s locker room.
“Sometimes people yell, ‘Gabi, Gabi!’ All three of us look around,” Gabriel says with a smile.
“But off the pitch, one is Jesus, the other is Martinelli and I am Gabi. I understand very well.”
Gabriel speaks sky sports In the midday sun at Arsenal’s London Colney headquarters. Mood is positive.
Last year was a rough season with three straight losses. We’ll be aiming for a second consecutive win against Leicester at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
“We are definitely in a better place now,” says Gabriel.
“There have been many changes at the club over the summer and it was important to get off to a good start. The determination and focus we showed against Crystal Palace were key to earning the three points.”
The theme of determination and focus comes up repeatedly during the interview. Gabriel, Oleksandr He Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Matt He Turner, Marquinhos and Jesus are qualities that can be found in new arrivals. They also added quite a bit of quality, he says.
“When new players come in, I think they always raise the quality level of the team, not just new players, but players coming back from loan.”
“Everyone is here to help the team. Having more quality will help Arsenal get where they need to be.”
Of course, that means going back to the Champions League.
Arsenal struggled last season finishing fifth, two points behind Tottenham. However, their beefed-up squad, now older and wiser, seems poised to bring improvements this time around.
Gabriel, who was acquired from Lille two years ago for £27m, will be key.
Last season, the Brazilian started all but three of Arsenal’s Premier League games, playing more than any of his teammates and being present in both boxes.
In fact, Gabriel not only ranked top in tackles, clearances, touches and successful passes, but also scored 5 goals, including 3 with headers. Emphasizing the growing importance to his side.
“I think the Premier League is definitely one of the hardest leagues to play in and I can say that I’ve definitely improved a lot since I’ve been here. It’s my passing, my heading and my game. It also applies to various other aspects of
Gabriel would like to thank Arteta and his staff for their great care. that too.
“The first year was a little tougher in terms of getting used to,” he adds.
“That doesn’t mean the second year was easier, but it certainly got better. By that time my English was also improving. I did.”
Arteta described Gabriel as a player with an “incredible future” last season, and the initial language barrier didn’t stop him from quickly becoming a defensive leader.
Gabriel is a soft-spoken man in front of the media, but on the pitch he’s a vocal man, coordinating Arsenal’s back line and dictating possessions and possessions for his teammates.
“I like having that responsibility,” he says. “It’s important to have a defensive leader who communicates a lot with the whole team. I think we’re all improving our communication.”
The improvement can be seen in the speed with which Arsenal’s new signings adapt. Centre-back William Saliba earned widespread acclaim after spending his third successive loan period in France with a spectacular debut in the Premier League alongside Gabriel against Cristal against Palace.
Like Jesus, Gabriel plays an important role in helping young French men get to bed.
“He’s a young player who came here at a very young age and went out to gain experience. Now, despite his age, he’s already playing for the French national team. He’s here to help.The team and he’s a very promising talent.
“He’s already a good friend of mine,” adds Gabriel. “We speak French together, so that helps. He has added a lot of quality to the team. I think he has a bright future.”
Of course, Gabriel is well positioned to offer advice and guidance to the 21-year-old, who moved to England at about the same age from France, where he spent three years at Lille.
I am very happy here. I have a good relationship with my teammates and am fully committed to the project.
“I have been here for two years and have experience that I can use to help him,” he says. “But at the same time he helps me. He has a lot of quality and physical strength on the pitch.
“We have similar qualities. I think we complement each other well.”
Arsenal supporters now hope Saliba will continue to blossom in much the same way as Gabriel.
“It’s always nice to get that kind of recognition, but I’m really focused on Arsenal,” he says.
“I am very happy here. I have a good relationship with my teammates and I am fully committed to this project.
“I am confident that with the projects we have, we can achieve a lot.”
It’s quiet at London Colney, except for the occasional pause when Gabriel’s teammates drive past the area where we’re sitting on their way home, but every move the team made last season was captured by Amazon’s cameras. It was carefully tracked. all or nothing documentary.
“I saw it,” Gabriel said, smiling again. He now hopes the series will help bring players and supporters even closer together.
“It’s good to show the reality of what’s really going on in the dressing room every day. People can understand things a little more and see how they differ from what they imagined.
“Of course, as players, we always play to win. But sometimes we lose games and we have difficult moments. I think you are doing a good job at
The camera is gone. But for Arsenal, that reality continues. Gabriel in particular will be more determined and focused than ever before against Leicester on Saturday.