New signing Gabriel Jesus has enjoyed an impressive pre-season at Arsenal but manager Mikel Arteta tempered expectations before Friday’s Premier League opener at Crystal Palace, saying the Brazilian striker still needs time to settle in.
Jesus netted seven times in five games during pre-season after joining Arsenal from Manchester City, where he scored 95 goals in 236 appearances in all competitions and played an important role in their four Premier League-winning campaigns.
“The role that Gabi has here is going to be very different to the role in his previous club. That needs some adaptation and some time,” Arteta, who worked with Jesus as assistant coach under Pep Guardiola at City, told reporters on Thursday.
“When you bring top players from top clubs and they have been extremely successful over the years, they are going to expect that… He is an enormous talent, a player with a mentality that is so contagious and he is going to give us a lot.
“He has done fantastically well and we are all surprised at how quickly he has done it, but we have to share that responsibility.”
Arsenal have so far completed the signings of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and goalkeeper Matt Turner.
Arteta indicated there could be room for more arrivals before the transfer window closes on September 1.
“It’s always been my team. We have changed the squad,” Arteta said. “The players we have are more specific and better to the way we want to play.
“We are really active as you can see with ins and outs. Everything is still open, it’s a long window… Players are going to have the need to leave, some others to move and everything is open still.”
Left-back Kieran Tierney is still making his way back after a knee surgery in April while right back Takehiro Tomiyasu and new signing Vieira have not featured during pre-season due to injuries.
Palace, managed by former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, beat Arsenal 3-0 in April last season but Arteta was more optimistic about Friday’s trip to south London.
“They showed last season how tough they are and how difficult they are to beat and how consistent they were at home as well… Hopefully, we learnt a lot of lessons that day,” Arteta said.
Vieira will hope to recreate the magic of the side’s 3-0 victory over his former side at Selhurst Park last season, and believes opening the campaign at home under the intimidating Friday night lights could give his youthful side an added spark come kick-off.
He said: “Arsenal are in a better place than last year. The new players have made them much stronger. They have the squad to challenge to be closer to the title.
“It is really important [to play at home] and it was really successful last year as our home record was really good.
“Playing the first game at home is an advantage and I’m really looking forward to the game. The fans are excited, we are really excited and we want to start the season well to give the fans a really good performance.”