Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus has hit back at critics of his goalscoring record after helping his side secure a 6-0 win over RC Lens in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Brazil international has only scored once in the Premier League this term, with no assists to his name in eight appearances.
However, Jesus has bagged four goals and weighed in with two assists in four Champions League games so far in 2023-24, and he was quick to teach those questioning his ability in the final third some tactical lessons after the game.
“I know what are my qualities and I know what I can bring to the team,” the Arsenal star told CBS Sports after the game at Emirates Stadium.
“I can score and I can also help with other things, like opening spaces. But the only people who can see it are those who watch the game and understand.
“Those who don’t understand will say that, ‘Oh he didn’t score today’ but maybe I run and open space for someone.
“Let’s be honest, I don’t miss a lot of chances. I think it is not about, ‘He doesn’t know how to score.’ Sometimes I have to be more in the box, that is the one thing I am working on. Tonight I was more in the box.”
Jesus admitted being prolific is not his strongest suit while on international duty last week, and while he was being truthful, there is no doubt that he brings plenty of other qualities to the table.
He helps to press the opposition defence, constantly creates spaces for other attackers, holds on to the ball brilliantly and does a good job linking up with his fellow forwards.
However, many continue to judge him on his goals, and it is something he does not understand given his all-round ability.
“People don’t understand sometimes and people took it out of context and said: ‘Gabi, his strong point isn’t scoring’,” he continued.
“I said this, but not in that way. I have other qualities as well, but I can score guys! I know I am not scoring every game, it’s not easy.
“Sometimes people just go to the result and see who scored, they don’t see the game. I understand my game. Obviously, I want to score every game, if it’s possible a hat-trick! But that’s not the reality.”
Jesus is a complete forward and is perfect for the style of play at Arsenal, but he needs to add more goals to his game if the Gunners are to win the Premier League title and Champions League this term.
He simply has to be more prolific as a number 9 and only the goals will silence the critics.