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The 2021-22 Premier League campaign has drawn to a close, and Tottenham got the better of their bitter rivals Arsenal after pipping them to fourth spot. Spurs’ 5-0 thrashing of Norwich on Sunday sealed their place in next season’s Champions League, while the Gunners will have to settle for Europa League football despite a 5-1 demolition of Everton.
The fierce enemies have been battling with each other throughout the whole campaign on the pitch – and that could now continue behind the scenes, with reports stating both teams are pursuing a potential move for Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus. Express Sport takes a look at what both clubs could offer the Brazilian, before drawing a conclusion over where he would be best off…
Perhaps Jesus’ main motivation for leaving would be in pursuit of first-team minutes, with Erling Haaland’s imminent arrival at the Etihad likely to limit his opportunities in Sky Blue next season. At Arsenal he would surely be one of the first names on Mikel Arteta’s teamsheet, with the Gunners still yet to fill the void left by the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette likely to move on in the coming weeks.
Tottenham, on the other hand, already have a highly successful and settled front three of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski. Although they will have to rotate in order to deal with the demands of Champions League football, if Jesus would prefer to be more of a protagonist figure Arsenal may be the way to go.
Chances of success
Fans of both Arsenal and Spurs would argue that they enjoyed a positive season, with the future looking bright for both for different reasons. Despite agonisingly missing out on fourth, the Gunners have a squad full of bright young talent, and the bond between the club and its supporters has not been as good as now for a number of years.
Spurs, though, have been totally revitalised under Antonio Conte, and if they heavily strengthen in the summer they will genuinely feel they have a good chance of competing for major honours across multiple fronts in the 2022-23 campaign and beyond.
It could be argued that if Jesus is looking for instant gratification Spurs are the better option. But knowing Conte’s habit of not sticking around for too long, if he is willing to be more patient the Emirates could be a better bet.
Manager pulling power
You would not find many figures within football who would argue against Conte being among the very top coaches in the world. The Italian has continued to demonstrate his incredible ability to significantly improve any squad he inherits by transforming Spurs’ demoralised and unconfident bunch under Nuno Espirito Santo into a defensively solid team who can score at will. The players themselves seem to love working under him, and Jesus may well relish the opportunity too.
On the other hand, Jesus will know Arteta from the Spaniard’s time as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at City. The two are thought to have had a good relationship, and that bond could be another factor in Arsenal’s favour.
Former team-mates at club level for Jesus are few and far between at either north London club, but he will know a couple of faces at each from Brazilian international duty. At the Emirates, centre-back Gabriel and forward Gabriel Martinelli would not doubt make him welcome, while in N17 Emerson Royal and Lucas Moura would certainly do the same.
While neither Arsenal nor Spurs are generally known for offering gargantuan salaries, they are willing to splash out when it is a player they know will make a huge difference. Aubameyang was comfortably the Gunners’ top earner while he was at the club on around £350,000-per-week, while Kane is believed to take home £200,000-per-week or so at Spurs.
Jesus is not thought to be among City’s top earners, with suggestions he is on £100,000-per-week. Therefore, if they really want him, there is no reason why Arsenal or Spurs would be unable to give him what he demands.
It is a pretty tight call, and may well come down to which club truly want him more. Arsenal’s need is surely greater, but Conte will no doubt put the pressure on Daniel Levy to deliver on his promise and get him exactly what he wants. If you are a gambler, the Gunners may just about have the edge – but don’t rule out Tottenham.
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