Stuart Pearce believes new Arsenal signing Gabriel Jesus is the “only reason” the Gunners are top of the Premier League standings.
The Gunners have been outstanding this season with Mikel Arteta guiding them to eight wins from their opening nine league fixtures.
Their latest 3-2 victory over last season’s runners-up Liverpool has put a marker down and established Arsenal as genuine title contenders.
Jesus, who has five goals and three assists in the Premier League this season, has certainly been a contributing factor for the Gunners’ amazing start to the campaign.
But the brilliant form of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka, to name a few, has been crucial too, while the return of William Saliba from a loan spell at Marseille has solidified Arteta’s defence.
Pearce, however, insists the reason that Arsenal are top of the Premier League is solely down to their purchase of Jesus for £45m from Manchester City.
“The big piece of business from Arsenal is Jesus,” Pearce told talkSPORT. “That’s probably catapulted them to being top of the tree at the moment from maybe third or fourth.
“He’s given them energy, he’s given them goals, he’s given them everything up front. He’s given them a focal point up there, and there’s a lot of talk and hot air about [Sadio] Mane leaving Liverpool and the effect that’s had.
“There would be the same conversations about Jesus and Man City if it wasn’t for [Erling] Haaland.
“The only team to be above Manchester City at this moment in time is Arsenal, and the only reason they’re there is because Manchester City have sold them Jesus at a really good price for his age.
“I thought that bit of business, £45m for a 25-year-old, was incredible.”
Kylian Mbappe hit the headlines yesterday with reports he wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain as soon as possible but former Premier League striker Darren Bent wouldn’t swap Jesus for the France international.
Bent said: “Right now? No. I like what Jesus is doing. I’m not saying Mbappe isn’t a better player, because he is.
“But Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League table.”
Speaking on talkSPORT, Bent added: “Mbappe comes with a lot of baggage… there always seems to be something.
“Look at [Erling] Haaland who’s a superstar of world football, he comes with no baggage. Gets the deal done, you never hear any stories about him, he seems like the model professional.
“Whenever we talk about Mbappe he’s always upset about something or he’s fallen out with somebody or him and Poch didn’t have a good relationship…
“There’s all this kind of nonsense.
“He was unhappy last year, he wanted to go to Real Madrid on a free. That didn’t happen and now he’s signed his bumper contract and now again he’s not happy.
“I’ve got no doubt Mbappe is a phenomenal player but do you want that coming into your dressing room and upsetting it?”