Pep Guardiola, Rio Ferdinand React To Speculations Linking Gabriel Jesus To Arsenal

This summer Arsenal and Mikel Arteta are in for a tough task, as they continue their search for a new striker to replace Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang who departed for Barcelona in January. 

The Gunners face a challenge at the end of the season, with the contracts of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah set to expire in the coming months. 

When asked about his summer transfer ambitions, the Spaniard said: "Now is the time to lift the bar on quality. The first priority is to find someone who can put the ball in the net. Any successful team must have a sufficient number of goal scorers."

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Darwin Nunez, Alexander Isak, and Jonathan David are among the players who have been linked with a move. Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City is the newest player to enter that list. 

The Brazilian will be a free agent in 2023 and is expected to compete for a spot in Brazil's World Cup squad in Qatar later this year. 

That could indicate that he requires more playing time than he currently receives at the Etihad Stadium, despite the fact that he is coming off four goals against Watford and a lone goal against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

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Pep Guardiola, speaking on BT Sport, described the attacker as "reliable" despite his Arsenal ties:

"It's difficult to drop him after four goals." It's not just about the four goals; Gabriel (Jesus) is dependable in a variety of ways, not just goal scoring."

Rio Ferdinand, a former Manchester United defender, agreed with this assessment, adding Jesus is a hard worker: 

"I believe he (Jesus) falls into the group of some supporters who believe he is not a number nine for Manchester City, but I guarantee you that if you asked all of the players in that City dressing room if they would have him in their team, they would all say yes." He works hard, is dedicated, scores goals, and pushes players out of the way to make room for others."

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It's the type of forward who might easily fit into Arteta's approach, especially if the rest of his team follows suit. Working hard yet also having some freedom inside the system.

It could explain why the Spaniard wants to sign the striker after working with him at City as an assistant coach.

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