Why has Gabriel Jesus failed to answer Arsenal's striker problems?

  • The Brazilian has not been great in front of goal since joining the Gunners
Jesus has disappointed lately
Jesus has disappointed lately / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Gabriel Jesus signed for Arsenal from Manchester City for £45m in 2022. He put pen to paper on a five year deal and was given the number nine shirt.

He made an instant impact, scoring seven goals in pre-season and then a brace on his home debut against Leicester City. As a result, many Gooners believed Jesus had answered the striker problems faced by the team since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's drop in form.

Jesus netted in his first North London Derby before going on a long goal drought, a sign of things to come. He suffered a knee injury at the 2022 World Cup and was put out of action until March 2023. He returned and finished the season with 11 goals in 33 appearances.

His second season in North London was massively underwhelming. Despite becoming the first Arsenal player to score in three consecutive Champions League appearances since Marouane Chamakh in 2011, he was woeful in front of goal for most of the season. Jesus finished the season with eight goals in 36 games, with four of those coming in 27 Premier League appearances.

With just 19 goals scored in 69 appearances for the club, Gabriel Jesus has failed to answer Arsenal's striker problems but just why has this been the case?

Why has Gabriel Jesus failed to answer Arsenal's striker problems?

Gabriel Jesus
Jesus has not scored since January / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

There is no arguing that Jesus is not an out-and-out striker. His Brazilian skill makes him far more suited to a more creative attacking role rather than one that requires him to be completely focused on goalscoring.

Despite a strong scoring start to his Arsenal career, Jesus has struggled to find consistency. He has even admitted that he does not feel scoring goals is his strong point so a lack of confidence could be one reason as to why he has struggled.

His lack of ability in front of goal has been glaringly obvious in some games. In a 2-0 victory at Wolves in 2022, Jesus failed to score despite having five shots. He also did not score from seven shots taken in a 5-0 victory over Nottingham Forest. At times, Jesus has looked like a striker who has never even scored a goal. Profligacy in such fixtures tallied to an underperformance of 2.3 when you compare his expected goals to actual Premier League goal haul.

Jesus has also been hampered by injuries, including a recurring knee problem, during his time at the club and that would be no help to him. Injuries have meant he has been unable to be given consistent playing time and as a result, he is bound to lack confidence and scoring ability. A recurring issue could also mean he is not in complete comfort when on the pitch.

The Brazil international is obviously a talented player and this has been demonstrated at points in his Arsenal career such as his skilful finish against Manchester United and his unbelievable assist to set up Leandro Trossard against Bayern Munich.

There are multiple reasons why Jesus has failed to answer the Gunners' striker problems. Overall, he is better suited to playing in a creative role due to his particular abilities. Other factors such as confidence and his injury problems are hardly his own fault.

He has not necessarily been a failed signing but has simply not been the man to answer the club's striker problems. His future is currently up in the air ahead of next season and considering he was displaced by Kai Havertz, who had been playing in midfield, at striker toward the end of last season, it is clear he will never be good enough to solely lead the line for Arsenal. Due to this, it would make sense for the club to explore a potential sale this summer.