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Premier League news as Gabriel Jesus wants to emulate Arsenal legend as Fulham make key signing

Leeds Live logo Leeds Live 04/07/2022 Carl Markham
New Arsenal signing Gabriel Jesus © Arsenal FC via Getty Images New Arsenal signing Gabriel Jesus

Here are the latest Premier League headlines for Monday, July 4.

Jesus wants to emulate Henry

Gabriel Jesus says he was a fan of Arsenal as a boy because of Thierry Henry and will now follow in the Frenchman's footsteps after joining the club from Manchester City. The Brazil international has also been reunited with Mikel Arteta, who spent more than three years as Pep Guardiola's assistant at City before taking the manager's job at the Emirates Stadium.

Jesus, 25, is believed to have signed a five-year contract in a reported £45million deal, having left City after scoring 95 goals in 236 appearances and winning the Premier League four times, EFL Cup three times and the FA Cup.

"I followed Arsenal when I was young because of Henry," he told arsenal.com. "Obviously I didn't follow too many European teams, but when I saw some of the players that played here, I was like "Wow, this club is big". I'm so happy to sign for this big club. Since day one when I knew I could come to play for Arsenal, I was happy. I know the staff, I know some players, the Brazilian ones. I know there are a lot of top players."

Jesus hopes his relationship with Arteta will help him improve further. "We spoke a couple of times about the club, the players, the project and the future," he added. "I believe 100 per cent in Mikel. I had a very good time with him before, he's a very good guy and a very good coach as well. He helped me a lot. We would always stick together after the training sessions and do some finishing or something. He's a very intelligent guy and was an amazing player, so if he knows something he can teach me or the young players."

Following the departure of Alexandre Lacazette after the expiry of his contract, Arsenal needed reinforcements up front and Arteta knew the man he wanted to come in. "I'm very excited. The club has done a tremendous job to recruit a player of this stature," said the Gunners boss. "I know Gabriel personally very well, and we all know him well from his time in the Premier League and being really successful here. This is a position that's been on our radar for a long time now and we have managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I'm really happy."

READ MORE: Leeds United seal Darko Gyabi transfer as youngster joins from Man City

Young signs new deal

Aston Villa winger Ashley Young admits the ambition of the club and manager Steven Gerrard convinced him to sign a contract extension. Young, who rejoined Villa on an initial one-year deal last summer, turns 37 this week but has extended his stay by a further 12 months.

"It was the ambition of the club, the manager, the staff and the players as well," he told avfc.co.uk. "I got to know the staff and the players really well last season, and I wasn't ready to go into retirement just yet. When I spoke to the manager towards the end of the season, he told me what he thought about me and that he wanted me to stay. He was a massive factor."

New dates for AFCON

The next Africa Cup of Nations will take place in early 2024 rather than next summer amid fears of a washout during host nation Ivory Coast's rainy season. The Confederation of African Football's executive committee has decided to switch the tournament, which was due to be played in June and July 2023, to the January and February of the following year.

It will be the second successive finals to take place in January and February following this year's event in Cameroon, which was rescheduled for similar reasons. Speaking at a press conference in Rabat, Morocco, which is currently hosting the Women's Africa Cup of Nations, CAF president Patrice Motsepe said: "The TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations AFCON Cote d'Ivoire will now be held in January-February of 2024."

He added: "We don't want to run the risk of having a competition that's going to be washed out. It's not good for African football, for our image and we have to work on that basis."

Fulham sign Portugal midfielder

Fulham have completed the signing of Portugal midfielder Joao Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon. Palhinha, 26, is the first new arrival of the summer for the Cottagers, who won promotion back to the Premier League last season. The Portugal international has agreed a five-year deal, with the club holding the option for an additional 12 months, and joins for a reported £17million fee.

"I'm very glad to be here. It's a big opportunity for me, for my career, to play in what is - in my opinion - the best league in the world," Palhinha said in an interview with FFCtv. "I've signed with a great club. The club wanted me, and I chose the club, so I promise the fans that I will do my best, and I hope we can win so many things in this season."

Cottagers vice-chairman Tony Khan said: "Joao Palhinha has excelled in Portugal playing both club and international football. He's been one of our top targets in this window. While there were other prominent clubs aiming to secure his signature, we're thrilled that Joao chose to come here and that he wants to play for Fulham under our great coach Marco Silva. We believe that Joao will be a valuable addition to strengthen the squad to compete this season in the Premier League."

Fulham have also been linked with Israeli forward Manor Solomon, whose future at Shakthar Donetsk remains unclear.

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