Gabriel Jesus has joked he fears Oleksandr Zinchenko wants to ‘kill’ him after teasing his teammate over his Premier League title contributions at Manchester City.
The pair won four championships together at the Etihad before they made the move to the Emirates last summer.
And they have played a key role in the Gunners sitting top of the table by eight points with the north Londoners in line to end their 19-year wait for the title.
Known to be great friends, Jesus has revealed he wound up Zinchenko after commenting on his utility role at City in what was playful banter.
Naming the Ukrainian as Arsenal’s biggest joker in the squad, Jesus told Footballers Lives on TikTok: “I think Alex is the king of joking.
“All the time he just jokes with someone. One day he was like saying things you know, joking like ‘ah, I won four Premier Leagues you know and then the last one I give to you’.
“He says ‘that last one, last season, I came on against Villa, we were 2-0 down’.
“He came on and honestly he changed a little bit the game you know because he received the ball, attack and he gave an assist.
“He just said that ‘I gave you one trophy, one Premier League, because of me, you have four’.
“I said ‘listen, okay, I accept that, but in four Premier Leagues, you only start 20 games’. He wants to kill me!”
Zinchenko often found himself on the bench during his time at the Etihad, with Joao Cancelo ahead of him in the left-back pecking order.
After sealing a move to Arsenal, Zinchenko hailed the influence Jesus had in his transfer as he opened up on their friendship.
The 26-year-old remarked: “To be honest, we are close to each other and I love him so much.
“He’s my big friend and I would like to say that he was also involved in the discussion and all these things.
“He told me about the good things about this amazing club and this atmosphere and about the guys and everyone here so I’m really impressed and so happy.”
Zinchenko has already started 21 top-flight games for Arsenal this season after forcing Kieran Tierney out of the line-up.
The versatile defender and Jesus look set to start away at Liverpool on Sunday, before turning their attention to the crucial trip to City later in April.