Manchester City have officially confirmed the signing of Brazilian sensation Gabriel Jesus for a fee of £27 million from Brazilian club Palmeiras, the exciting youngster has signed a five-year-deal with the club but will stay in his native country with Palmeiras until January 2017. Pep Guaridola’s era is in full flow and the former Blaugrana manager has signed some of the most promising talent in world football. We have already covered what the German sensation Leroy Sane will bring to the club, so I take a look at how Jesus will fit into the squad from 2017, and what he will bring to the Etihad Stadium.
The Blues won the race for the 19-year-old’s signature fighting off competition from Spanish giants Barcelona which in itself is considered a major achievement and just shows what one phone call from Guardiola can do. The new Blues boss is known for having a young squad and has certainly injected youth into the ageing City squad. Experts in Brazil can barely contain their excitement when talking about Jesus, saying the sky is the limit, he is the most exciting youngster to come out of Brazil since Neymar. But, why? The versatile winger can play along the forward line in any position and has elegant style to his play which influences in him oozing brilliance.
Jesus, like compatriot Brazilian star Gabigol have quite high expectations coming out of Brazil and both players will soon find themselves playing in Europe, the comparisons for both players are obvious, the press have gone straight to Barcelona star Neymar, which is almost inevitable.
Jesus possesses magnificent artistic style in his play, his positioning for someone so young is superb and he always wants to put himself in goal-scoring positions, although his stature is quite weak, he is certainly a warrior which of course comes with the “street football” he has adapted from South America, a warrior on the ball and will fight for it if needs be, something Guardiola will be happy with, especially given the physicality of the Premier League.
The youngster comes to England with massive expectations with a high price tag too, but I feel he will thrive from it, a natural born true goal-scorer, possessing beautiful skills with end product is something the youngster has mastered with ease, and being of thin, light stature that certainly hasn’t stopped his progression in his early career.
His versatility will be a huge plus for City, as mentioned; his best position is playing from the left of midfield in a 4-3-3 but has also just moved into a centre forward position, where he is also showing very impressive performances.
Not all wingers have a good goal to game ratio, but this is another strength the youngster will bring, Jesus has scored 15 in 19 games to date this year and will look to improve his impressive record with the Brazilians whilst on loan there until January.
The new City man boasts supremacy, often using his quick feet and trickery to mock defenders, his style of majestic foot work and step overs, followed by rolling the ball to each foot before send his opponent elsewhere is illustrious.
Not just a goal-scorer, a creator too, using his hawk eye vision with admirable passes with different techniques, outside the foot, no look pass, you name it Jesus has tried it, and often rather than not succeeded.
Not every modern day winger has exquisite vision and often the number 10’s will take that into their path, but this is another trait Jesus carries, his awareness to pick out his team-mates and play pin point passes is quite unique for someone so premature.
He is also fearless; not intimidated in a head to head battle with his opponent, whether they are big and strong or quick.
Like most, the major concern is how he will cope with demands of the Premier League, although he has shown great fighting ability, English football is like no other and it could be a concern for Manchester City, especially as Jesus is just 19-years-old.
Raheem Sterling can be deemed selfish by some, this could also be assumed because of Jesus’s style of play at times, he is still very early on in his career and like most flair players, he wants to showcase his abilities, but in a Guardiola styled team, he’ll soon become a good team player and drop the solo attitude.
A concern could certainly be taking the jump and leaving Brazil too early, for example, Neymar waited until he was 21-years-old and guaranteed game time before moving to Barcelona were he has become one of the best players in the world, the attacker’s progression will only resume by playing regularly and at a club like City, his development has been rapid and taking the jump so early, the Blues may not be able to guarantee such game time demands.
What the experts say
The Brazilian sensation is the best talent coming out of Brazil, experts in South America say, known for his work ethic, speed, technical alibies and more. The former Brazilian king Ronaldo has hailed him for future success not only at club level, but nationally too.
The legend said “I am a fan of his, I watch him and I see myself when I was younger, I see the similarities. He is very young and already has had a lot of success and so much responsibility; he has a footballing career ahead of him. We are already loving what he is doing”.
Another impressed with the star attraction is Palmeiras under-17 coach Bruno Petri.
“He will become a major player in Brazilian football, and also the Selecao, if they have patience, he is a boy who is easy to speak with and work with and who is different to the others in the question of training, always giving more than 100 per cent.”
Where will he fit in at City?
Guardiola has opted with a 4-2-3-1 system in pre-season thus far, the formation used may be the same formation they will use in the new season but there is still time for testers before the Premier League kicks off.
When Jesus arrives once the season has finished in Brazil, I feel he will play wide left in the three behind the striker, but as mentioned can be used in all front four positions which will give Guardiola plenty of options.
The Brazilian international will bring a very good offensive option for City, deploying him where he is needed but will certainly hurt teams in either position he plays, he is joining the side half way through the season and may not walk into the first team, especially if the likes of Sane, Nolito and Sterling all hit fine form.
City have landed themselves one of the most exciting prospects in world football and in time he will become an effective key player for them, although he may not light up the scene straight away, he is a player the City faithful should be a very enthusiastic about, under the majestic Guardiola, he could become one of the best wide players in the world.