And, as another giveaway as to what Arteta might have in mind, in February this Guardiola said of Jesus, “He can play in the three positions up front. And when we need runners and players that help a lot with our high intensity and high pressing, he is the best in the world.”
So now we get to another point. Although Jesus didn’t play every game (28 in the league last season) he actually played in 41 games all told, including eight in the Champions League. He also played in seven of the Manchester City games against the “big six” teams, and as the Telegraph says, “Guardiola would regularly select Jesus against the most challenging opponents.”
This now gives us a further clue as to what will happen. Eddie is likely to be played in games against lesser teams, to help develop his skills and confidence, with Jesus on the bench, and the situation being reversed in top games. What’s more, given that Jesus has often played out wide, if the game needs one more goal then it is likely that on the hour mark both will be on the pitch, one at centre forward one out wide. And quite possibly with the two players alternating just to confuse the defence.
One of the other interesting points here is that Arsenal will now not only have four Brazilians in the squad, but all four come from within 20 miles of Sao Paulo. Plus of course there is Edu.
This is not exactly a new development. In his time at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger signed seven players from Sao Paulo and there have been reports that Sao Paulo and Arsenal are working on ever more formal links. This would give Arsenal first choice on a regular flow of talent, and it would give Sao Paulo an added status among young talent looking for a club, to know there is a link with a Premier League team that already has several players from that club.
It seems to be the way things are going.