Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus has been assigned the club’s number nine shirt following his £45m arrival from Manchester City.
The number had previously been worn by Alexandre Lacazette since 2017 until his departure as a free agent at the end of June.
Arsenal technical director Edu has confirmed that Jesus is player the club had already admired for ‘a long time’, with manager Mikel Arteta describing the Gunners hierarchy as doing a ‘tremendous job’ to secure a deal for the Brazil international.
Jesus was Manchester City’s number nine for three seasons from 2019, having initially worn 33 in his first three years at the club. He has also been Brazil’s number nine at three major international tournaments, including the last World Cup in 2018.
Arsenal will hope the Brazilian brings fresh impetus to an already young and vibrant attack. Eddie Nketiah, the Gunners’ new number 14, was finally given a chance towards the end of last season and made the perfect start to pre-season on Saturday with a hat-trick in a friendly against Ipswich.
In the Premier League era alone, occupants of the Arsenal number nine shirt have been hit and miss. In the 1990s, Paul Merson and Nicolas Anelka both wore it with success, but it later went to the likes of Francis Jeffers, Park Chu-young and Lucas Perez.
Lukas Podolski and the late Jose Antonio Reyes had their moments, as did Eduardo Da Silva prior to a horrific broken leg, while Julio Baptista and Davor Suker were also short-lived number nines.