Gabriel Jesus’s move from Manchester City to Arsenal has been confirmed, and bet365 have priced the Brazilian at 9/1 to score 20 or more Premier League goals next season.
Original article published 4 July 2022
Initially brought to the Etihad as the long-term successor to Sergio Aguero’s throne, Jesus was never able to fully nail down a place in the Pep Guardiola’s side.
Jesus got off to a blistering start upon his arrival in Manchester, scoring virtually every time he hit the target, but consistent game time remained hard to come by.
Despite excellent movement, routinely finding dangerous positions and an admirable work ethic, Jesus only appeared in half of City’s available minutes in his five full seasons, and never exceeded 22 starts.
His first full season for City coincided with an injury-hit campaign for Aguero, granting him 19 starts and 29 appearances, in which he registered 13 goals, despite missing the best part of two months through an injury of his own.
With Aguero back fit and firing the following season however, Jesus recorded just eight starts.
With the Argentine’s City career winding down, the chance for Jesus to step into the void was there, as he started 21 and 22 games in successive seasons, scoring 23 goals.
But when Aguero’s departure was confirmed last summer, Ferran Torres appeared to be Guardiola’s first choice striker, with Jesus being shunted onto the wing – even after the Spaniard’s January exit.
Despite being in and out of the side, and being played out wide on occasion, he’s not turned into the prolific forward Guardiola wanted, with time in the side set to be limited further following the arrival of Erling Haaland.
His league goals across his five full seasons reads a modest 13, 7, 14, 9 and 8, however in that time period he is averaging slightly more than 0.50 goals per 90, comparable with the 0.59 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed in his time at the Emirates.
One statistically unusual area of Jesus’s game is his xG tally. Over his first three full seasons, of players with at least 10 90s played, he had the league’s best xG per 90 in one season, and twice came second behind Aguero.
However Jesus routinely underperforms his xG total, and across five seasons, he’s had plenty of time to go on a hot streak, which has never materialised, leaving a question mark over his finishing ability.
The move is very welcome news for Arsenal fans, though. While the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli were able to contribute a solid 34 goals between them, they did miss an out-and-out centre forward, particularly following the departure of Aubameyang in January, though he did only manage a disappointing four goals in 14 games.
While Alexandre Lacazette established himself as Arsenal’s starting centre forward, his four goals across the campaign left much to be desired, a tally Jesus is sure to improve upon.
15 or fewer - 4/9
16 to 17 - 9/2
18 to 19 - 11/2
20 or more - 9/1