Xhaka says Arsenal strikers Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah 'can be very dangerous for the opponent'
Mikel Arteta was in desperate need of a new striker this summer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was pushed out of the Emirates in February while Alexandre Lacazette was allowed to walk away for free when his contract expired.
For a while, it looked like Nketiah would leave on a free transfer as well, but Arteta managed to convince the talented Englishman to sign a long-term contract at the Emirates.
Arsenal then splashed big money to bring in Jesus from Manchester City, and he will be the Gunners’ first-choice striker this term. However, he showed in pre-season that he can play alongside Nketiah, and Xhaka thinks the two could form a great partnership up top.
Arsenal strikers Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah can be very dangerous
Xhaka was asked about all of Arsenal’s new arrivals this summer. The Swiss international delivered a glowing verdict on all of them, especially Jesus, who is the Gunners’ marquee signing.
He told Arsenal.com: “It’s very exciting. First of all, I love his (Jesus) attitude, his hunger to achieve something, to win something. He’s come from a team who have already won everything, and he gives us the hunger, the belief and the quality.
“But as well, he’s a very humble guy. Very open, you can be serious with him, you can joke with him. This is what we need at this football club.
“He’s a very high-quality player, very quick, very sharp. He’s not scared to go in for a 50-50 ball. With him and Eddie now up front, we have two guys who can be very dangerous for the opponent.
“He’s scored already in the friendlies, hopefully, he can keep doing that.”
Since Arteta was appointed as the Arsenal manager, the Gunners have never really played a two-striker formation. It has almost always been a 4-2-3-1 – apart from the Spaniard’s first few months at the Emirates where he employed a 3-4-3 system.
Following Jesus’ arrival this summer, nobody really considered the prospect of seeing the Brazilian play together with Nketiah up top. Arteta gave that a go in pre-season, and the two strikers looked phenomenal alongside each other.
Both Jesus and Nketiah understood each other’s roles very quickly. They linked up play really well and combined together on numerous occasions to trouble the opposition.
Arsenal take on Crystal Palace tomorrow and we expect Jesus to lead the line on his own. However, we won’t be surprised if Nketiah is thrown on at some point to play alongside the Brazilian.
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