Frank Leboeuf has acknowledged that Gabriel Jesus enjoyed a brilliant debut for Arsenal on Friday night, but hasn’t rated him as highly as one of his fellow pundits.
Jesus helped Arsenal kickstart their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park yesterday.
The former Manchester City hitman had an instant impact and set up a gilt-edged chance for Gabriel Martinelli after only three minutes, though his fellow Brazilian attacker could only pass wide of the Eagles’ post.
He was a constant threat throughout a first half that Mikel Arteta’s side led 1-0, with Martinelli making amends for his earlier sitter by heading home the opener.
But Leboeuf has claimed on ESPN that the 25-year-old ‘disappeared’ after the half-time break, disagreeing with Don Hutchison’s post-match rating for the South American.
He told ESPN: “Yeah well I wouldn’t give him a nine-and-a-half because he really disappeared in the second half for me. First half he was outstanding. He should’ve scored. He made the difference when he was sharp physically. Overall Gabriel Jesus showed already the talent he has and what he can bring to the Gunners.”
This is a relatively balanced view from the former France international, it has to be said.
The truth is that Jesus – labelled ‘razor sharp‘ by Jamie Carragher in the first half – did progressively fade throughout a relatively anonymous second half for both him and Arsenal.
It’s no coincidence that the more Patrick Vieira’s side grew into the contest, the less of the ball Jesus saw.
That being said, there’s still plenty of reasons to be cheerful for the Gunners and based on this, it was certainly £45 million very well spent.