I told Arteta and Edu I’m a number 9

He reflects on his career across various clubs, including Palmeiras and Manchester City, and how these experiences have influenced his positioning on the field.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 08: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, interacts with Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal following their sides victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on October 08, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Gabriel Jesus has expressed his preference for playing as a centre-forward, but has acknowledged his role’s versatility in a recent press conference.

Speaking from Brazil’s camp, the attacker reflected on his different positions across various clubs, including Palmeiras and Manchester City, and how that has influenced his role within the national team.

Gabriel Jesus began by disclosing what Fernando Diniz, Brazil’s new manager, told him about his role.

“At Palmeiras, I did it a lot, I think it was the club I did it at the most, when I started playing more centrally. I played as a centre-forward, very loose and doing the ‘facão’. That’s where I did it the most. The first thing Diniz said when I came in for the other call-up was that he wanted to see Gabriel from Palmeiras, from City,” said Jesus.

At Arsenal, Jesus has found himself switching positions frequently. “At City I played a lot with Aguero, and I was the one who went out more, ran more. At Arsenal, I’m quite loose. With Martinelli and Saka on my side, I swap a lot with Martinelli. But there it’s a more controlled game, it’s a different game. Obviously, we follow Diniz’s work at Fluminense, and it’s no wonder they’re in the Libertadores final,” he added.

When he joined the Gunners, the Brazilian striker indicated his preference for being the team’s new number nine. “Edu and Arteta spoke to me, and I made it clear that I’d like to play 9. That was Arsenal’s idea, for me to play 9, loose,” Jesus revealed.

However, due to injuries and tactical adjustments, Jesus has found himself playing in multiple forward positions.

“This season has been different, we’ve had injuries and in the last few games I’ve played three up front. For a while, I thought I’d just say I wanted to play 9, but I’m here to help the team. I’m blessed by God to have this talent and the versatility to play in all three forward positions. I prefer not to choose,” he concluded.

Having recently recovered from a knee injury, Gabriel Jesus has scored three goals in nine appearances for Arsenal this season.

Although he has yet to start a game under Fernando Diniz for Brazil, his versatile contributions at Arsenal suggest that he has much to offer in the upcoming fixtures.

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