This summer’s transfer window is expected to be a big one, with several Premier League clubs spending big money. Gabriel Jesus is expected to be on the move, following Manchester City’s signing of Erling Haaland. Arsenal have been heavily linked to the striker, while the Telegraph report that Tottenham could be ready to rival their local rivals for his signature. After managing to beat the Gunners to a top four finish, it would rub salt in their wounds if Spurs were to beat them to one of their top targets.
The need for a striker is more evident at Arsenal, as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah could both depart on free transfers. Arsenal have lacked a regular goal-scorer to lead the line and Mikel Arteta will believe that it is the final piece in the jigsaw. For Spurs, they need more depth in attack to cover for Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, as they will be competing on multiple fronts. For Jesus, he might want first-team guarantees before signing for any team. He is already a rotational player for the Premier League champions and a similar role at Tottenham may not appeal.
At the age of 25, Jesus is ready to be a regular starter for a Premier League side. He has plenty of experience, with 58 Premier League goals to his name. It seems inevitable that he will join the 100 club if he does stay in England.
In limited minutes, Jesus has had a very good season, regularly contributing goals and assists. He has played 1880 minutes, contributing eight goals and eight assists to Manchester City’s cause. The Brazilian is averaging a goal involvement every 117.5 minutes. This is an excellent average and underlines the ability he does have in the final third, both as a creator and a goal-scorer. His critics will argue that most players would do well in City’s attack.
Only Kevin De Bruyne (23) and Raheem Sterling (18) managed to get more goal contributions than Jesus in the Premier League, with both playing more minutes. De Bruyne averaged a goal involvement every 95.9 minutes, while Sterling averaged one every 118.2 minutes.
This does show that Jesus has been performing to a high standard at City and he is better than people give him credit for.
Jesus’ underlying numbers are very good. This season, he is averaging 0.48 expected goals (xG) and 0.28 expected assists (xA) per ninety minutes. For the former, he ranks as the 13th best in the league out of players with more than 1000 minutes played. For the latter, he ranks as the 8th best in the league.
He has maintained very good underlying xG numbers since he moved to England, which suggests he is a safe bet for any club signing him this summer. The striker averages 0.74 xG per ninety minutes when accounting for all his Premier League minutes. It is very difficult for many players to match this over the same period.
One issue for Jesus has been the quality of his finishing. During his time in England, he has underachieved his xG by 18.05 and he has scored fewer than his xG in every single season. Every striker can have a poor season, but this regular underachievement suggests he does struggle with his composure in front of goal.
Despite his poor finishing, there are few better at finding pockets of space to receive the ball. Jesus averages 7.8 touches in the opposition penalty area per ninety minutes, placing him in the 96th percentile among forwards. This is a great skill to have.
It is clear that Jesus is a very good forward who is capable of playing regularly for a team chasing Champions League football. For him, Arsenal looks to be a better fit. He already knows the manager and he is guaranteed to be a regular starter. Tottenham would offer Champions League football, but he would be in a similar squad role to his one at City. It doesn’t make sense to go there.
Stats taken from Whoscored, Understat and fbref (powered by Statsbomb)