Gabriel Jesus may not be the centre-forward solution Arsenal are looking for this summer, with the Brazilian recently admitting he is more effective on the wing.
The Man City forward has been heavily linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium this summer with the Gunners seemingly leading the chase to tie up a move.
A player of undoubted talent, Jesus has been the subject of intense debate in recent years as fans and pundits alike argue over the 25-year-old’s best position.
After joining City in 2017, Jesus was seen as a typical number nine and was even tipped as the next Ronaldo – by the Brazilian legend himself.
However, since then the ace has seen his role evolve into a wide forward position, as he cuts in from the right flank for club and country.
That transition has caught everybody off guard, including South American football expert Tim Vickery.
The Gunners are seeking to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette this summer, with Eddie Nketiah the only recognised centre-forward in Mikel Arteta’s squad.
Jesus is wanted by Arsenal to fill that void, but Vickery doubts if the City star would really fit with Arteta’s plans.
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Speaking on White and Jordan, Vickery said: “Six years ago a comparison was being made between Gabriel Jesus and the original Brazilian Ronaldo.
“It was from the most impeccable source imaginable: The original Ronaldo, who said ‘this fella Gabriel Jesus reminds me of me when I was a kid’.
“No one would make that comparison now. That’s not a criticism of Gabriel Jesus, but Ronaldo bulked up and became that powerhouse centre-forward.
“Gabriel Jesus, does he lack penalty area presence? There are many things that he does very well, but he does seem to prefer cutting in from wide.
“Where is he going to fit in? This must be clear if you’re going to spend money on him.
“Where is he going to play and where does he want to play?”
With Arsenal hoping to tie up a deal for the Brazilian international before long, Vickery has insisted that it’s essential for the Gunners to know Jesus’ best, and most preferred, position.
And talkSPORT’s man in Brazil revealed a very frank conversation between Jesus and his national team boss, where they discussed that very same topic.
He said: “The low point of his career was the last World Cup.
“He appeared to be the solution at centre-forward for Brazil, he’d been very good in qualification, but then in the World Cup he had a mare.
“He didn’t score a goal. Much maligned centre-forwards have scored for Brazil at the World Cup, he didn’t manage one. It’s been a trauma for him ever since.
“What is he? Does he want to play as a No.9, or does he want to play as a wide striker? He has kind of run away from being a centre-forward.
“I spoke with the Brazil coach about Gabriel Jesus not that long ago and he said that after the World Cup he called over Gabriel Jesus and asked him, ‘Where do you want to play?’
“Gabriel Jesus said, ‘I don’t mind’, but the coach said, ‘Obviously you mind, you obviously have a preference, what is your preference?’
“And somewhat sheepishly Gabriel Jesus said he’d rather play out wide. This is important for whoever is going to buy him.
“If it’s Arsenal, I know that Arteta knows him from Man City, but that’s a while ago and things change.”
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