Gabriel Jesus, a forward for Arsenal, has admitted that Pep Guardiola‘s treatment of him at Manchester City led to his decision to leave the Citizens.
The Brazil international played under Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium for five years, serving as a crucial striker and winning numerous awards until signing with Arsenal last summer.
Jesus had a great first season under Mikel Arteta after joining the Gunners, contributing to 17 goals in the Premier League despite suffering injuries along the way.
Jesus claims that it all started when Guardiola left him out of the starting eleven in a crucial Champions League match and substituted Oleksandr Zinchenko instead. “The day before, he didn’t even use him [Zinchenko] in training, he had put me in as a striker… Zinchenko even played in the Champions League game at home,” Jesus said.
The team has a meeting two hours prior to the game, eats, has a 30-minute break, and then heads to the game. He revealed to us the team… I hardly even ate. I hurried inside and called my mother while sobbing, saying, “I want to leave.” He [Zinchenko] was put on, but he [I] wasn’t, so I’m going home. There, he placed a left-back. I lost my mind.
Jesus, who replaced Zinchenko in the second half, first assisted in the equalizer before scoring the game’s last goal to give City a 2-1 victory.
I didn’t get warm,” Jesus continued. “I was sorry. Guardiola contacted me five minutes after [Kylian] Mbappe’s goal made it 1-0. We won 2-1 thanks to a goal I scored and an assist from me. I believed I would play in the ensuing Champions League match [a 2-1 victory against RB Leipzig], but I didn’t.
“It’s not easy, and there was a lot of it with him [Guardiola]. However, one [player] changes. It’s very challenging. I made the decision to leave at that point. So I made the decision to go.
Jesus and Zinchenko, both active Arsenal players, are anticipated to play more frequently together in London.