Mikel Arteta has been surprised by Gabriel Jesus’ quick adaptation to life at Arsenal and relishes the exploitation of the Brazilian’s ‘contagious’ mentality.
The Gunners kick off the new Premier League season at Crystal Palace on Friday night football – live of sky sports – with Jesus set to make his competitive debut for the club following his £45million move from champions Manchester City.
With Jesus shouldering the new burden of expectations his arrival in north London has generated, Arteta has appealed for patience, but the manager insists the early signs are promising.
“When you bring in the best players who come from the best clubs where they’ve had great success over the years, they’re going to expect that expectation,” Arteta said.
“Gabriel’s role here is going to be very different from the role he had at his old club, which needs adaptation and time.
“He did it fantastically, we’re surprised how quickly he did it, but we have to share that responsibility.
“He’s a huge talent, a player with such an infectious mentality, and he’s going to give us a lot, but it’s a team contribution at the end of the day.”
Arteta’s position at Arsenal came under intense scrutiny at the start of last season after newly-promoted Brentford inflicted the first of three defeats in their first three Premier League outings.
However, after a summer spending spree and a record 100% in five pre-season appearances, the Spaniard insists preparations for this season will allow the Gunners to get off to the best possible start this time around.
“It’s different, everything that happened before this game [at Brentford] was quite strange and unique, the preparation, the pre-season that we had,” he added.
“Now the context is different, we’re really excited, we’re looking forward to the new season and we’ll try to start in the best possible way. That’s how we have with our preparation.”
Asked if his Arsenal squad were finally in his image after the summer recruitment drive, Arteta added: “It’s always been my team, they’re our players and we always intended to make the most of it.
“It’s true that we’ve downsized and changed the squad massively over the last two windows and you feel like now the players we have are more specific and better suited to the way we want to play.”
Arteta: Arsenal remain ‘very active’ in the market
As well as Jesus’ arrival, the Gunners have secured the services of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Matt Turner this summer and Arteta has revealed there could be further arrivals and departures before the deadline. september.
“We’re really active, as you can see, with ins and outs,” he revealed. “As you can see, everything is still open, it’s a long window.
“A lot has happened, it’s amazing what business clubs have done across the Premier League, and it shows how competitive it’s going to be this season, it’s not going to stop. Some players have to leave, others have to move, and everything is still open.”
Arsenal’s final trip to Selhurst Park was the catalyst for their costly end-of-season decline, which culminated in rivals Tottenham putting them into the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.
Arteta hopes lessons have been learned from that 3-0 loss in April, adding: “They showed last season how tough and hard to beat they are, and how consistent they were at home, especially against the big teams.
“They got some great results, the result against us, hopefully we learned some lessons that day because there were 30 minutes we had that day that were far from the standards we needed and we paid the price.”
Arteta continued: “We are all enthusiastic, we had the pre-season we wanted, we were well organised, we had good results, good performances, good preparations, but now the ball is starting to roll tomorrow night. in a completely different context against a Premier League side and we know what to expect.
“But it’s true, we have a level of energy and ambition to have a successful season and we have to show it on the pitch tomorrow night.”