Arsenal are one of a number of clubs interested in Gabriel Jesus, who is believed to be valued by City at £50m; The 25-year-old scored 13 goals last season and contributed 12 assists from 28 starts in all competitions
Friday 17 June 2022 11:38, UK
Arsenal are in talks to sign Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.
The Premier League champions do not want to lose Jesus but understand his desire to get regular first-team football. The arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez are likely to reduce his playing time at City.
Arsenal are one of a number of clubs interested in Jesus, who is believed to be valued by City at £50m.
The 25-year-old scored 13 goals last season and contributed 12 assists from 28 starts in all competitions.
He arrived at the club from Brazilian side Palmeiras in 2016 and has gone on to net 95 times in 236 appearances.
The Gunners' most pressing need for next season is in attack. When your leading marksman has the same number of goals as bottom-placed Norwich, you know there is a problem.
The issue is not in creating chances, the problem is in taking them. Arsenal ranked fourth for shots, shots on target and expected goals (xG) this season, but ranked 11th for shot conversion.
This disparity places Arteta's side 15th for xG differential, which measures the difference between goals and xG. A low xG differential suggests you are missing high-quality chances - only Brighton, Leeds and the three relegated teams had a lower xG differential than Arsenal.
The main culprit in this regard is Alexandre Lacazette, who scored just two non-penalty goals from 46 shots and a xG return of 6.84. Only Brentford's Bryan Mbuemo underperformed his xG by a bigger margin this season.
Jesus was billed as Sergio Aguero's successor back in 2017 but he will leave the Etihad having never made more than 22 starts for Pep Guardiola's side in a Premier League campaign. Across the last five seasons, he has played just 51 per cent of City's available minutes.
Not that his scoring record is anything to sniff at. Jesus has averaged a goal every 160 minutes in the Premier League. Of players to have scored at least 15 times in the competition since then, only six boast a superior strike rate.
That is partly down to a lack of consistent starting opportunities - more than a third of Jesus's 159 Premier League appearances have come as a substitute - but it is also a question of finishing.
Jesus excels in many ways, from his off-the-ball movement and his versatility to his pressing, but he is not always so reliable when it comes to converting chances.
Indeed, while his scoring record is by no means poor, the underlying data hints at significant shortcomings in front of goal.
Since his City debut five and a half years ago, Jesus has the second-biggest negative differential between actual goals scored and expected goals in the Premier League, behind only Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke.
Arsenal are close to agreeing a deal to sign Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira for a fee which could be worth £35m including add-ons.
The deal should be complete once he passes a medical and finalises personal terms - with some reports suggesting he will fly into London as early as possible.
The 22 year-old scored six league goals in 15 starts for Porto last season. He has scored 13 goals in 21 appearances for Portugal U21s.
Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam on Fabio Vieira:
"He is very highly rated and this can be seen as a really exciting move in the transfer window for Mikel Arteta.
"He's 22 years-old, technically very gifted so he fits in with the Arsenal mould of players. He has great movement, very graceful on the ball, he wants to get on it.
"He plays really as a number eight, he has played out-wide as a winger or as a false nine but playing at the heart of midfield is where he's at his best.
"He's been described to me by a Premier League recruitment scout as a lovely footballer, someone great on the eye and would love to have in your side.
"Six goals in 15 starts for Porto this season, 13 goals in 21 games for Portugal U21s - that tells you all you need to know about the type of midfielder he is."
Arsenal will start their 2022/23 Premier League campaign away at Crystal Palace on August 5, live on Friday Night Football.
Mikel Arteta's side, who finished fifth in the Premier League last term, will then host Leicester City on August 13 before travelling to newly-promoted Bournemouth on August 20.
The Gunners' first north London derby will take place at Emirates Stadium on October 1, while the return game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is early in the new year on January 14.
Arsenal's final game before the season pauses for the winter World Cup will be away to Wolves on the weekend of November 12/13. They will then return to action on Boxing Day, entertaining West Ham.
The final day of the Premier League season is on May 28, where Arsenal will close out their campaign at home to Wolves.