Gabriel Jesus has waited patiently for his time in the sun at Manchester City. The 22-year-old, who joined the club from Brazilian side Palmeiras in January 2017 has had to understudy club legend Sergio Aguero over the years while waiting for his opportunity to shine. Although the Brazilian striker has seen game time when the Argentine has been out injured or in need of rest, it has not been enough.
With the City all-time top scorer nearing the end of his time at the club, Jesus is taking up his chances of taking over from the 31-year-old, labeling this as his time. Aguero’s current deal is set to expire in the summer of 2021 and there’s currently no talk of an extension. The Argentine has made his intentions known of ending his career at boyhood club Independiente. So he is expected to move back home at the expiration of his contract with Man City.
His departure will leave a huge void in City’s attack that many wonder if the young Jesus can fill. The Brazilian international striker has backed himself to be ready to step up to the plate when the need arises. Speaking recently, Jesus revealed how much he is raring to play right now. And that he relishes the task of filling Aguero’s big shoes for the foreseeable future. He detailed his journey with the club so far, and his aspirations for the future.
“In the first season when I came, I played a lot. I came here to play, play, play.
“After that year sometimes it was him and not me. I know Sergio is a legend, top scorer of club, top man, top guy. I like him as a player and a person.
“I know Sergio can score every game because of his quality and experience — and every time he plays I want him to score, obviously, so I wait and I wait.
“I want to play every game but the reality is not like that. We have a lot of players, top players. I do try to enjoy it when I am on the pitch,” he stated.
“But I know Sergio is not young anymore like me, and now I think my time has come. This is my time.
“I just want to play football and to improve. That’s what makes me happy — that’s what I love.
“If I am not playing football I don’t know what I would do.
“It’s always difficult when you don’t play but I know I won’t be in every time, and I respect the manager’s decision and respect my friend Sergio because he’s a legend of the club.
“And I definitely don’t think about being the best in the world, I just want to play and score and then the rest comes anyway,” he continued.
He went on to commend his senior teammate for helping him improve his game.
However, manager Guardiola is also looking into the future and has stated that Aguero cannot be replaced. Although not counting out Jesus as an option for the future, the Catalan feels the club may look to bring in another striker once the club legend leaves.
“Sergio is irreplaceable.
“We have another incredible striker in Gabriel (Jesus) and maybe another one will come when Sergio leaves - but he is irreplaceable,” Guardiola said.
For now, Jesus will need to concentrate on improving his game. The Brazilian will have to work on his numbers in front of goal which have not been great. With 11 strikes to his name in 23 appearances for the club this season, he can do much better. Six of those have come in 15 Premier League outings. It’s a significantly better return than last term when he scored a total of seven in 29 league matches.
City will need him to be at his best moving forward as the team fights to make the best of the remainder of the season.