Arteta praised for Xhaka improvement; summer signing has ‘taken chance’ to be focal point

Alan Shearer has waxed lyrical about Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus, who is a “game-changer” for Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal picked up a convincing 3-0 victory at Brentford on Sunday afternoon, inflicting the largest home defeat the Bees have suffered since being promoted to the Premier League.

Brentford were uncharacteristically poor on the day, while the Gunners looked very impressive and composed.

Arteta’s side are top of the league going into the international break having won six of their opening seven fixtures.

Writing in his BBC column, Shearer said that it is a “different Arsenal” to the team that was “bullied” by Brentford 13 months ago.

While the Premier League’s all-time scorer doesn’t see the north Londoners beating Manchester City to the title this term, he has heaped praise on the club’s summer signing from the Citizens, Gabriel Jesus.

“Gabriel Jesus has been brilliant since joining from Manchester City in the summer, and with four goals and three assists so far only Erling Haaland (with 11) has been involved in more Premier League goals than him this season,” he said.

Shearer also praised Arteta for how much midfielder Granit Xhaka has improved this year.

Arguably the club’s best player in 2022, Xhaka has thrived in a box-to-box role next to Thomas Partey.

“We’ve seen Arteta improve the likes of Xhaka, who showed great desire and determination against Brentford, but Jesus is Arsenal’s real game-changer for me,” Shearer continued.

“His move was seen as his opportunity to be the main man after often being on the bench at City and he has certainly taken it so far.

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“Jesus is already a huge part of what Arsenal are about now – it’s not just his goals and creativity that make him so important to them, it’s his relentless energy and willingness to run in behind defences too.

“He’s the game-changer for Arsenal. He’s the one who sets the tone from the front. Defenders hate players who are prepared to run in behind, he does that.

“He’s the one who starts the press. You see his movement and his ability too. He could have had two or three goals actually. He’s made a huge difference to that team.”

Jesus might have started the season extremely well, but he will not be representing Brazil this month after being left out of the squad by Tite.

It is believed, however, that Jesus is a shoo-in to make the Brazil squad for the World Cup.

Manager Tite is apparently taking a closer look at Manchester United’s Antony and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino as he hopes to find more clarity on who he should pick for this winter’s tournament in Qatar.

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