Revealed: Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus decided to leave Man City after Pep Guardiola made him cry – with Oleksandr Zinchenko also involved

Gabriel Jesus Pep GuardiolaGetty/GOAL
  • Striker won 11 trophies with the Blues
  • Dropped for Champions League game
  • Ended up moving to north London

WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazil international decided that he needed to start looking for a way out of the Etihad Stadium in November 2021. He was named on the bench for a crunch Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain despite being of the opinion that he should be included from the off. Guardiola decided to field Oleksandr Zinchenko as a false nine in that contest, despite the Ukrainian being a natural left-back, and Jesus was left in tears as it became clear that he was no longer integral to City’s plans.

WHAT THEY SAID: Jesus, who ended up joining Arsenal in the summer of 2022, has told The Denilson Show: “There was a Champions League game, PSG, at home, in which he put Zinchenko as a false nine. Crazy thing. The day before, he didn't even use him [Zinchenko] in training, he had put me in as a striker... Zinchenko even joked with me: 'that day I felt bad for you.' Two hours before the game, there's a team talk, the team eats, rests for 30 minutes and goes to the game. He told us the team... I didn't even eat. I went straight to the room, crying, I called my mother to talk: 'I want to leave.' I'm going home, because he put him [Zinchenko] on, and he didn't put me on. He put a left-back there. I went crazy.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Jesus did replace Zinchenko in said meeting with PSG, scoring one and laying on another in a 2-1 victory for City, but his mind had been made up. The South American added: “I didn't warm up. I felt bad. Five minutes after Kylian Mbappe scored the goal for 1-0, he [Guardiola] called me. I gave an assist and scored; we turned it around 2-1. In the next [Champions League] game [a 2-1 win at RB Leipzig], I thought I was going to play, and I didn't play. There was a lot of that with him [Guardiola], and it's not easy. But one [player] evolves. It is really hard. That's when I decided, I didn't want to stay any more. And I decided to leave.”

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Gabriel Jesus Pep Guardiola 2021-22Getty Images

Gabriel Jesus Arsenal 2022-23Getty Images

GuardiolaGetty Images

WHAT NEXT? Jesus won 11 trophies during his time at City, having joined them from Palmeiras in January 2017, and registered 11 goals during an injury-hit debut season at Arsenal in 2022-23 – with Zinchenko joining him at Emirates Stadium after completing his own transfer from Manchester.

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