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Paul Merson issues verdict on Gabriel Jesus after Arsenal win

Jordan Harris

Gabriel Jesus has been compared to Roberto Firmino after his ‘outstanding’ performance for Arsenal in their latest Premier League victory on Saturday.

Paul Merson has compared the Gunners star to his countryman at his peak on Soccer Saturday after watching Mikel Arteta’s men restore their eight point lead at the top of the table.

Arsenal recovered from a slow first-half to secure a 4-1 win over Leeds at the Emirates. And it was Gabriel Jesus who got them off and running.

Merson Jesus
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Jesus won a penalty after a clumsy challenge from Luke Ayling. And he went on to score the spot-kick with Bukayo Saka starting on the bench.

Merson amazed by Gabriel Jesus in Arsenal win

It was also Jesus who pretty much made the points safe with Arsenal’s third goal in the second-half. It was an emphatic reminder of the 25-year-old can do after a turbulent few months for the forward.

Merson Jesus
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Remarkably, Jesus had not scored in the Premier League since the North London derby at the very start of October. Of course, that is largely down to the serious injury he sustained at the World Cup.

But he has also had to be patient upon his return. Leandro Trossard arrived in January. And he has proved to be an inspired signing.

But with Saka unable to start on Saturday, Jesus came in. And Paul Merson felt that Jesus more than proved himself in the victory.

“I thought he was outstanding,” he told Soccer Saturday. “He brings just something different to them. He comes off players, he knits it all together, he reminds me a bit of a Firmino at Liverpool when he was at his pomp, playing with Mane and Salah. And he’s a bit like that. He knits it together, he comes short, he can go long. He’s just a proper, proper footballer.”

Obviously, Jesus’ goalscoring return only tells a fraction of the story when it comes to his time at Arsenal. Similarly to Oleksandr Zinchenko, his performances on the pitch are only part of it.

He has been a transformative signing. Jesus is a winner. And he took Arsenal to another level again in their latest victory.

Arteta has an amazing headache for their next game. He faces dropping one of Gabriel Martinelli, Trossard or Jesus to get Saka back into the team.

Anyone who drops out can feel aggrieved.

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