Friday, June 2, 2023

Sunday round-up: Humble Jesus, Leno, Torreira, Paqueta

Morning all. A quick Sunday round-up for you.

I enjoyed this from Gabriel Jesus after the win over FC Nurnberg. He was asked by what sounded like a local reporter if he felt any pressure because he was now ‘the superstar of the team’.

His reply:

“I don’t want to be the superstar. I just want to play football, go out on the pitch and help my teammates, like a family we have to do it together.

“Everything. Outside the pitch, on the pitch, so I’m not here to be ‘the man’. I’m here to help, to learn with these guys as well, and to win together.”

It’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that a player coming from a club which has won the Premier League four times in the last five years might join one without a title since 2004, and have a slight sense of superiority. Especially when he’s coming in to obviously be a very important part of the side, but there is nothing like that with Gabriel Jesus.

I’m sure his qualities as a player were the first things Mikel Arteta focused on, but having to deal with some pretty significant individual issues since he took over, I think his character was another important consideration. I mentioned last week his behind the scenes video where Jesus took time to greet everyone around the training ground etc, and this kind of humble attitude is great. It’s not that you can’t have talented players who are a bit more dominant in a dressing room, but it’s clear that Arteta’s primary focus is always the collective, and in that sense the Brazilian feels like a perfect fit.

Meanwhile, various reports suggest Bernd Leno was left out of the friendly on Friday because he’s on the cusp of joining Fulham. We’ll have to see what happens in the next few days, but it looks close and a fee of around £10m should seal the deal for the newly promoted Cottagers.

Lucas Torreira’s future remains up in the air, as he and others are due back tomorrow before continuing pre-season the other side of the Atlantic. There’s some talk of Juventus being interested, but I’m a bit dubious about that. Nevertheless, his agent is keeping those Italian fires burning, while revealing Arsenal have told him he’ll be going to America:

Torreira at Juve? He would actually like to stay and play in Italy, but Arsenal has today called him up for the tour they will do in America, so he seems to be part of the program.

I don’t rule out a departure, but given the lack of concrete interest, it’s perhaps not impossible that circumstances require his presence in midfield next season. Let’s see.

Finally, there’s talk of interest in Lyon’s attacking midfielder, Lucas Paqueta. He’s a left footed Brazilian attacking midfielder … sounds familiar … and has reportedly put in a transfer request amid interest from Premier League clubs. He had 11 goals and 7 assists last season, he’s 24, and sounds like he fits the bill given our interest elsewhere, but if this were Arseblog News I’d probably take the Poo-O-Meter out and give this a runny 7. Which now makes this a surefire, slam-dunk of a transfer.

Right, that’s your lot for now. A little earlier than usual – and I’ll explain why in the pod  itself – James and I will have an Arsecast Extra for you this morning. Keep an eye out for the call for questions on Twitter @gunnerblog and @arseblog on Twitter with the hashtag #arsecastextra – or if you’re on Arseblog Member on Patreon, leave your question in the #arsecast-extra-questions channel on our Discord server.

Pod should be out by lunchtime. Until then, take it easy.

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