Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has hinted that Arsenal were only able to sign Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City earlier this summer because of the gulf between the two clubs.
Jesus, 25, joined the Gunners from the reigning Premier League champions for a fee in the region of £45 million at the start of July this year.
Since his arrival in north London, Jesus has been a revelation for Mikel Arteta’s side. He has netted five times and contributed three assists in eight Premier League matches so far this season. The Brazilian has effectively filled the first-team void left by Alexandre Lacazette.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference, Klopp heaped praise on Jesus and opined on why Manchester City allowed him to join the north London outfit. He told reporters (via Mirror):
“I don’t know him on a personal basis but I’ve always liked him as a player. I know City wouldn’t have sold him to any club but with Arsenal, the distance was enough, geographically. He’s an exceptional player, you always say that.”
“The Gabriel Jesus role at City was a nine and a winger. Last year, everybody said City had no number nine. He was still there but he played obviously from the wing and now he can play his role. He’s flying in this moment, that’s clear. If you’re not playing against them, it’s easy to enjoy what he’s doing.
“If anyone knew how he could be outside Manchester City, it was Mikel. The same with [Oleksandr] Zinchenko. It’s a young team, a really exciting team and they’re doing well. We will try to cause them problems so I’m looking forward to it.”
The Gunners also acquired the services of Ukrainian left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko from the Pep Guardiola-coached outfit for £32 million in the summer transfer window. He has registered one assist in six matches across all competitions in the ongoing campaign.
Arsenal are currently atop the 2022-23 Premier League standings with 21 points from eight games. The club are scheduled to lock horns with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (October 9).