Arsenal had a disappointing end to a bittersweet season as they failed to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League. The Gunners were fourth in the Premier League table during the finals phase of the season as their lack of attacking options was exposed during losses against Liverpool and Newcastle City. Therefore, the most pressing concern for the north London club this offseason is strengthening their attack for the upcoming season.
Recently, the Gunners have shown interest in acquiring the Machester City striker Gabriel Jesus for £50m. The Brazilian national scored 23 goals with 12 assists in 28 starts for the City in all competitions last season. The Premier League champions are not willing to give up on Jesus. However, the club understands the 25-year-old’s desire to play first-team football more regularly. Moreover, the arrival of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez will only reduce Jesus’ playing time in the City squad.
Therefore, Arsenal might have a good chance of getting Gabriel to the Etihad stadium for £50m. He arrived from the Brazilian football club Palmeiras in 2016. Since then, Jesus has scored 95 goals in 236 appearances. Thus, Gabriel could turn out to be a real deal for the Gunners if they sign the City striker in need of more starts and playing times.
Can Jesus Improve On Arsenal Scoring Record?
The Gunners created plenty of chances throughout the season. But, their major issue was the conversion of those chances. Mikel Arteta‘s side was ranked fourth in shots, shots on target, and expected goals(xG) this season. However, the team ranked 11th in the short conversion standings. Moreover, Arsenal was ranked 15th in the xG differential, suggesting that the side has missed high-quality chances consistently. Only Leeds and Brighton had a lower xG differential than the Gunner last season. The credit for the lack of conversions goes to Alexandre Lacazette, who scored just two non-penalty goals out of 46 shots with an xG return of 6.84.
Meanwhile, Jesus was considered to be Sergio Aguero’s successor in 2017. However, the Brazilian could not get more than 22 starts in the Premier League for Manchester City. He has only played 51% of the available minutes for the club in the last five seasons. At the same time, Gabriel averaged a goal every 160 minutes in the English league. Only six players in the league have a superior strike rate than Jesus out of the players to have scored more than fifteen goals. However, the 25-year-old had not started consistently. He played as a substitute in more than thirty percent of his 159 Premier League matches.
But, if the Gunners are eyeing Jesus as their lead finisher, things might end up getting tricky. Jesus has excellent off-the-ball movement and is known for his versatile pressing. Unfortunately, Gabriel is not so dependable in terms of converting chances. Thus, while he is a strong scoring record, the stats suggest a major shortcoming in conversions at front. Since his debut for the City, Jesus has the second-highest negative differential between actual and expected goals in the English league. Hence, the gunners will have to figure out how they intend to use Gabriel Jesus before finalizing a major deal with Manchester City.